19-year-old Pete Spalding sealed the Supersport Cup Championship this weekend at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire after taking his ninth Cup win of the season from nine races plus an outstanding fourth position overall in the Supersport Championship. A dramatic race was seen by the strong 30'000 fans in what proved to be an exciting and nail-biting 18-lap race.
After qualifying in a strong 14th position the youngster was keen to gain a strong result to finally seal the Cup Championship Title, in which he has been working so hard to gain all season. Completely dominating the series, the Honda CBR600 rider once again stole the show and gained another fantastic result to add to the stunning fifth position he gained at Knockhill.
After a first lap pile-up on the first corner, plus a heavy rain shower the race was red flagged after only two laps, enforcing a complete restart. The riders were given two laps warm-up in the wet conditions and were given a 16-lap race. Spalding gained a fantastic start and was up to seventh by the third corner behind Supersport regulars, Sykes, Emmett, Crutchlow, Vincent, Camier and Laverty.
Spalding proved at Donington Park earlier in the season that he is becoming a wet weather specialist after gaining a great eighth place there. The youngster once again proved his worth in the tricky climate conditions and mixed in with some of the most Supersport riders in the country. Front runners, Crutchlow, Laverty and Vincent all succumbed to the weather and crashed out of the race, allowing Spalding a fighting chance of stepping on the steps of the main Supersport Class Podium. Hunting down current Supersport Champion Leon Camier, Spalding was eager to make a pass on the Champion for third place. A last lap, last corner nearly proved ecstatic and fatal for the youngster, fighting his way past Camier, he got on the gas a little early and nearly high-sided out of the race. Managing to fight and hold on to his Honda, he gained an amazing fourth place.
Commenting a delighted Spalding said "It's been an amazing year and now I have sealed the Championship I can relax a little more and just get on with the racing at not have to think about the results at the final rounds. The whole Centurion Team have worked exceptionally hard all weekend and all year and they deserve this title more than anyone, I would like to thank everyone for all their continued support and help. The race was fantastic and it was a great feeling battling for a Championship podium with Leon. I just hope things continue to get better and better for the remainder of this season and for next year."
Team Manager Gary Stubbington said "I'd like to back up Pete's comments and thank everyone for all their help and support. A big thanks must go to Clive Padgett for offering his advice throughout the season. The result today is exceptional and we are all completely delighted. I hope this gives Pete a confidence boast and hope that we can continue to move from strength to strength. It's a big learning curve but results like this certainly help with team moral."
The next Supersport Cup Race is at Cadwell Park on August Bank Holiday weekend.