Young Finnish Husqvarna rider Mauno Hermunen has won the biggest Supermoto race of the year, the VOO Superbiker event at Mettet in Belgium. The 23-year-old won the VOO Superbiker for the second consecutive time at the Jules Tacheny circuit, having also won the event in 2010.
After his victory last year at the Mettet Superbiker event, Hermunen was determined to defend his title at the 25th edition of this important Supermoto race. In every session throughout the weekend on his SMR449, Hermunen was always in the top five. On Sunday, the Husqvarna rider got his first taste of victory early in the afternoon in the ‘Supermoto’ final, after dominating the eight-lap race and finishing five seconds ahead of Frenchman Sylvain Bidart and 17 seconds ahead of current Supermoto World Championship leader, Thomas Chareyre.
In difficult weather conditions for the main event, favorite Hermunen was overtaken in the first corner by Romain Febvre, but the Frenchman then made a mistake and fell in the early stages. This allowed Hermunen to take the lead and control the race from the front at the 1.977 km Belgian track.
Sebastien Tortelli, who had made a great start, used his extensive motocross experience to secure second place, while early faller and European MX2 Champion Romain Febvre fought his way back to gain the final podium position, putting in the best lap to eventually finish 6.7 seconds behind Mauno, in third.
It was another great result for Hermunen and his Husqvarna SMR449, who recently helped Finland secure third place at the recent Supermoto of Nations event. Hermunen also won the German Supermoto title in the S1 class, without even taking part in the final round, which clashed with the Mettet event. Because he had dominated the whole series throughout the season, Hermunen had an unassailable championship lead so he could go to compete at Mettet, knowing that the title was safe. After comfortably winning the series in 2010, this is the second year in a row that he has dominated.
The talented Finn also has a chance to win the 2011 Supermoto World Championship, with just one round left to contest in this year’s series at Cahors in France on October 23. However, with three riders in front of him in the points standings, it will be anything but easy.