MOTORSPORT: Stafford shines on Mettet bow

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BEN Stafford revelled in his Mettet debut as he enjoyed a weekend to remember on the track.

The New Saracen’s Head D3 Racing KTM Supermoto rider was among a spree of riders from across the globe to compete at the unique superbiker meeting in Belgium.

The event comprised of three days of intense shows, including stunt, freestyle and spectacular Supermoto – and allowed Stafford to rub shoulders with the world’s best.

Friday’s qualifying conditions were wet but manageable, with Stafford managing 17th out of 40 riders in the opener and a formidable 13th out of 47.

After a night of heavy rain, the first race of the second day saw Stafford start from 14th position on the grid.

Some riders jumped the start and Stafford was pushed out of contention by another rider in one of the fast sections, leaving him at the back of the field in 50th place.

But a stirring display saw Stafford come through the field to gain an astounding 19th position.

The second race – and ultimately the last chance to qualify for the final – saw Stafford set off from ninth. He found himself in the front spot for several laps again, only for a mistake in the tricky dirt sections and to relegate him down to eighth place.

In the final last chance race he place a fine fifth, but that was three positions short of the qualification for the main race. Still, the South Holland ace returned home delighted with his showing.

Stafford now looks forward to the ninth and last round of the British Supermoto Championship at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on the November 5 and 6. There, the 2011 ACU and Norasport championships come to a close for the season.