SUPERMOTO: Stafford off to strong start

Learning curve: Ben Stafford pushed his new bike to the limit at Three Sisters. Photo by MARTY HILL
Learning curve: Ben Stafford pushed his new bike to the limit at Three Sisters. Photo by MARTY HILL

TALENTED teenager Ben Stafford made an impressive start to the new British Supermoto Championship season at Three Sisters.

The Saracen’s Head racer managed three top ten finishes on his new KTM 450cc machine, which he’ll also use in this season’s European series.

Stafford has worked tirelessly over the winter on his strength and stamina – and it paid off at the Wigan opener.

Race one saw Stafford get a good start, which pushed him up to tenth position into the first corner. Keeping a calm head, he made two more positions to finish the ten-lapper in eighth spot.

A deluge of rain made the track tricky in the second outing, for which Stafford started from the second row.

Despite being pushed wide at the start, the South Holland ace battled back from 13th to finish a worthy tenth.

Some excellent bike control in the finale then saw Stafford bring his machine home in a very creditable eighth place – making it an excellent start to the new season.

The team opted out of racing in the Elite group the following day, instead deciding to do four sessions of practice on a bike that was purchased just weeks before the opener.

Ben’s dad and mechanic Andy Stafford said: “Unfortunately just before the season started we found ourselves without a bike – and have been forced to buy a new stock machine two weeks before the first race.

“As usual, everyone has pulled out all the stops and we arrived on the grid on a super machine we put together in a week. I would just like to say a huge thank you to our loyal sponsors and family for sticking with it.

“A big thank you to Neil at Triple D Motorsport for finding the bike and Lee and Rachel at LR Designs for the late nights putting together the graphics.”