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Buttermans Race Report

AMA Supermoto Round 6 -  Downtown Sturgis, SD

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

 

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

Round 6 of the 2015 AMA National Supermoto Championship took place the weekend of September 18th-20th. It was the 3rd annual Sturgis Supermoto race, presented by Metzeler tires, racing through the downtown streets of Sturgis, SD. Now I look forward to pretty much any Supermoto race, but I went to Sturgis with something to prove this year. Last year I had really good speed and qualified well, but crashes in the main events kept me outside the top five. With this race being the third racing through the downtown streets of beautiful Sturgis, I've learned that the track is a whole different experience than what we typically race on.  It is slick, technical and a blast to ride. Plus the atmosphere of that town is just so much more relaxed and inviting than any other town I've visited. Oh and just to explain pictures of my face, fellow Klutch Industries rider Kenny Troxell and myself had to bring the gnarly vibes up by rocking the best set of chops we could grow.

Friday

My wife and I drove up with our usual road tripping buddy Tim Velasquez and for this race Timmy and I got to be teammates for Team RSR. Since the unfortunate crash that my teammate Dustin Hoffman suffered in Utah, the team gave Timmy the opportunity to fill in for Dustin. We started off our weekend in Sturgis by watching the press conference that ended with the announcement of a TV deal for the 2016 AMA Supermoto championship! We walked the track afterwards and I was happy to see two separate dirt sections. I couldn't help being stoked to be in legendary Sturgis and have the opportunity to race there. It is such an amazing venue for a track. I mean where else can you go race through downtown streets without breaking the law and not having to worry about cars and stop signs? Sturgis shuts down their downtown to let us see how gnarly we can get jumping through bar parking lots and sliding through intersections.

Friday evening myself and about ten other racers volunteered in the Sturgis Rally Charity by waiting tables and bartending at the world famous Knuckle Saloon.  All the money we raised during the Sturgis Rally Charity went to the local projects like the Sturgis women's shelter and other local charities. It was a fun experience to wait tables, but I’m definitely going to stick to my day job. The town had other events that contributed to the charities like a wheelbarrow race. Brenda and I entered the race, I had to push her around the course blindfolded and she had a microphone to direct me around the course. Practice went well but our qualifying time didn't make the main event...

Saturday

Practice started at 12:30 so we had the morning to get the tires changed and hangout with all the other racers. This weekend was also different because I was riding both pro classes, 250 and 450. All year I haven't ridden as well as I believe I could because the rehab on my wrists has been a much longer recovery than I ever realized. Last year I raced both classes but up until this point I haven't been able to ride both bikes because of the pain in my wrists. My local shop, Bobby J's Yamaha/Husqvarna, was nice enough to lease me a 250 at the beginning of the year and I really wanted to race it.

I went out first on the 450 for practice and I felt good on the track almost instantly. The track is unlike any other track I've raced. The streets are so slick, but that just adds to the fun. I was sliding into the corners on deceleration and sliding out during acceleration. In fact you had to get the bike sideways exiting corners or your momentum took you to the barriers and that would have been a bad day. My session came to an abrupt end only a handful of laps into practice when I got bucked off the lip of a double in the first dirt section and went over the bars onto the asphalt.

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

I thought my day was done as I was heading for the ground but I was able to separate from the bike and not get tagged by it. I got super lucky, and I was really thankful to be walking away from such a hard hit. I hit my head pretty hard and cracked some ribs.  Our Ryder Smith Racing team was awesome.  They got my bike straightened out and ready to race again. They put zero pressure on me to continue. I had to go back out though; I felt so good the first few laps.\

I then went out for the 250 qualifying to see how I felt; I was stiff and sore but once I got a few laps in, I loosened up and started feeling better. The two bikes felt so different as the 250 is just a stock 2015 Husqvarna FC250 with supermoto wheels, Beringer brake, and my own machined clamps. The biggest difference is suspension, the 250 is stock and my RSR 450 has Race Tech suspension. I could literally get on the gas earlier on the 450 than my 250 which was crazy, the 250 was like riding a crash every corner. I finished the timed qualifier second behind Nicky Reimer.

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

Next came the 450 timed qualifying session.  I went out first to get a clear track and try to just lay down laps. I felt good and ended the session in third behind Gage McAllister and Micky Dymond.

I decided to skip the 250 heat race.  Since I had gone down in practice and I was only racing the 250 for fun, it seemed like the best decision. In the 450 heat race I was able to get my first hole shot of the year and lead laps for my first time ever in the 450 class. After a couple laps the current 450 champ and newly crowned MotoAmerica RC390 cup champion, Gage McAllister, had worked his way into second behind me. As soon as I noticed he was in second it was like I hit a wall and just started making mistakes and over riding the technical track. With two laps to go Gage got by me so I ended up second, but was just stoked to be able to run the lead pace. It was a great feeling to be able to ride without my wrist holding me back.

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

It was time to really put it together now as it was time for the main events. The 250 class was first and I started on the back of the grid since I skipped the heat race. The first lap everyone was bumping and I didn't make up ground on the front pack. By halfway I had worked up to second, but Nicky Reimer had a big lead. I slowly caught him but I think he was just cruising as he knew he had it in the bag as long as he didn't fall. In the end Reimer took the checkers first and claimed the 250 Pro Lites Title for the 2015 AMA Supermoto Championship!

For the 450 main we rolled out for the warmup lap and I was super nervous. I knew I had the speed to be on the podium, but I also knew it was going to require a good start to be able to be up front on that track. Out of the first corner I was forth; it was Tyler Sweeney with the holeshot. McAllister blew wide going into turn 4 and I was able to go inside (I later learned that his front brake failed, he did stay out on the track with only his rear brake and finished 8th). I setup my teammate Stump in the second dirt section and got into second. I was focused on going forward and keeping McAllister and Dymond behind me. On the second lap I got Sweeney exiting the second dirt section and when I crossed the finish line I was just like ‘Wow I'm leading the 450 main!’

Sean Butterman - Micky Dymond - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

I had a couple seconds lead when Dymond got into second. I tried to learn from the heat race where I tightened up, so I stayed loose and consistent until about halfway. Then I was regretting racing the 250, I was getting tired and we were pushing so hard. I messed up two laps in a row and lost my gap, Dymond was on my rear tire now. It was the most mentally demanding race of my life. I gathered myself and after a few laps I learned what sections he would get close to me and what sections I could pull some time back out. It was intense because we were both pushing the pace and the crowd around the track was just cheering us on. Matt Stewart was flagging and put his hands up showing 2 more laps, I told myself to dig deep. I had lead most of the race and I was not going to let it slip away.

On the last lap I put my head down and just focused on not throwing it away. When I crossed the line it was like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders.  My team was hanging over the barriers jumping up and down. It was so surreal I couldn't believe that I had won. My wife had been taking photos and she got around the track and gave me a hug. It was just so intense with how this year has gone with injuries and everything else. I had lost belief in myself and I felt that I was letting people down because I was fighting through so much pain every race only to be outside the top five. 

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

Overview

I'm super grateful for how that day in Sturgis went, having hit the ground so hard in practice and to come back for the win. I got a lot of gifts that help me achieve this win, like McAllister having brake problems and Hoffman missing from the grid due to injury. I'm just excited that I was able to ride like myself, put down laps, make good passes and have that lead pace the entire weekend. I also got to meet and hangout with my childhood hero Doug Henry since he was the Grand Marshall for the race. It was just an amazing race in an amazing place, surrounded by amazing people. There is one more race this year for the AMA Supermoto Championship; it will take place November 7th in Tucson, AZ. I can't wait to go racing again. I'm just going to keep grinding, working on technique, rehabbing my wrist and try not to let this weekend get me over confident.

There are so many people I have to thank for their belief in me. First my wife, Brenda, she has been there every step of the way making it possible to pursue my dreams and I will never be able to thank her enough. Matt Stewart and Joe Agley for bringing Supermoto back from the dead. Got to thank Joe Agley for my spot on his amazing team, Ryder Smith Racing has become family to me and I can't thank everyone on the team enough. Jeff Rydalch has been huge in helping me have the parts I need to make my dirt bikes into Supermoto bikes, so please hit up Toxic Moto Racing and SLIDEmoto for all your Supermoto needs!  Oh and the city of Sturgis, thank you for helping create an annual event like no other. I'm so excited to go back to Sturgis in 2016! Jeremy DeGrasse at Klutch Industries for his unwavering support. Aaron Phinney has been one guy that has kept me on track through everything this year and I'm super privileged to have him supporting me. A huge heartfelt thank you goes out to my family and friends, all my sponsors including Benny Tozzi with Bell helmets, my mechanic Alex Dicharry of Aspen Motoworx, Philippe with Beringer Brakes, Cameron Yarbrough with Oakley, Tech One Designs, Atlas Brace, Bobby J's, FMF, Race Tech, Cycra, Hinson, Ed Baker at EHR, Pete Bonner, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters and Matrix Concepts. Thank you so much for the help!

Thanks,

Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Sturgis Supermoto - Klutch Industries

 

AMA Supermoto Round 5 - Miller Motorsports Park

Round 5 of the AMA Supermoto National Championship took place at the amazing Miller Motorsports Park in Utah the weekend of August 15th. I was super stoked for this race, not only because Miller is always an awesome venue for Supermoto, but the Supermoto series race was on the same day as the AMA Motocross National at Miller. I got to race Supermoto and the fan boy side of me got to watch the best in the business throw down on the Motocross track!

Friday, August 14th

Since the MX Sports Pro Motocross race was the main attraction for the weekend, track time for Supermoto on the kart track was limited to Friday morning and mid-day Saturday.  That way the Motorsports complex could run their rental karts. With limited track time allotment the crew at AMA Supermoto ran practice, timed qualifying and heat races on Friday.  

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - Miller Motorsports Park - SupermotoPhoto: Geocrash Photography; my beautiful wife in the bottom of the shot

My wife and I left Thursday night after work and got into Tooele, UT around 3 am and caught a couple hours of sleep before heading to the track to get the day started. I always look forward to riding this track as the asphalt layout of the track is very technical and in the past it had two different dirt sections. This year the west dirt section was taken out to make room for what I hear is more garages. It was a bit of a bummer to have that section gone because in years past its where most of the passing on the track happened as it had multiple lines available. The remaining east dirt section has always in my opinion been one lined and if you make a pass it usually involves contact. That being said, it is still one of the most rewarding tracks to ride. It flows beautifully but is so technical at the same time.

This is my fourth time racing at Miller Motorsports park and in practice it took a while to re-figure out the track, but after a few sessions I was feeling pretty good. The pits at the RSR Team was busy swapping tires out as the new tire rule this year requires that whatever tires you qualify on must be the same tires you race on. It was a tight schedule but the team had everything dialed in for my teammates and I. We set out for timed qualifying where I kept struggling with getting a clear track, but I was able to get a few clear laps and felt good, like I could attack the track. As I have complained about at the other races this year, my wrist is still not right. It is still tender but its not holding me back from pushing on the track any longer, which I'm stoked on! The dirt section is still the only part of the track that it hurts my wrist when I ride so definite improvement for me. I ended timed qualifying in fifth overall.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - Miller Motorsports Park - SupermotoPhoto: Butterphoto ; Friday qualifying

Now everyone was set for the heat races to wrap up the day's events. My 5th in qualifying put me 3rd on the grid for the first 450 heat race. I was feeling good and wanted to really be in the battle into the first turn and I was able to squeeze around the outside of my teammate Eric Stump for second coming out of turn 1. I would end up giving the position back about half a lap later when I overshot one of the double apex corners. I followed Stumpy around for most of the heat race.  He was on it and I was trying to pick up on any little thing I could to make that pace as consistent as possible. With just over a lap to go I tucked the front in the same double apex corner that Stump had got me in on the first lap. It was a just a simple mistake on my part and we were so leaned over in that corner it didn't really feel like a fall. I jumped right up and grabbed my bike but Jake Thompson and Tim Velasquez had got by me. I finish 5th in the heat race. It would put me 9th on the grid for main event that would take place the next day. I was happy with my riding and my aggression on the track because I've ridden all the previous races in a survival type riding mode. I was disappointed in myself for falling and losing a grid position, but I was ready to go for Saturday's main and that's what counted.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - Miller Motorsports Park - Supermoto

Saturday August 15th

The schedule for Saturday was much less hectic.  The only times I would hit the track was a morning warmup and then the main event around lunch time when the AMA Motocross was in the middle of their break. It was really cool to be at a Supermoto race, while at the same time being there at the same facility to watch the best motocross riders in the world throw down on the MX track. So once we were done with morning practice we headed over to the Motocross track to watch their timed qualifying sessions.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - Miller Motorsports Park - SupermotoPhoto: Butterphoto; Saturday practice

Soon it was time for the main event over on the Supermoto/kart track. I was ninth on the grid which put me middle of the third row. The first lap was really hectic and looking back now I should have been much more aggressive that lap. Everyone was bumping and being aggressive so I just kind of let the cards fall how they did. Once we got going I was able to take advantage of other rider’s mistakes and get into seventh. At this stage I had Norcal’s Drew Dickson in front of me, which I found funny since last year’s race at Miller saw me battle with him for the majority of the race. It was a much tougher track to pass on with the west dirt section no longer a part of the racetrack. I tried everywhere I could to get around Dickson without being a jerk and making contact. The east dirt section had dried out by the time we started racing and had a very small blue groove line, it made it nearly impossible to try a pass in their without taking yourself out as well. With two laps to go I set up a pass out of turn 4 that got me into 5th position. On a side note, I had gained a position mid race when my teammate, Dustin Hoffman, had a nasty high side that ended his day early with a broken wrist. It was a huge bummer to see Dustin go down; he is probably the most talented Supermoto rider in the nation and one of the nicest people you will meet, so here is to a speedy recovery for the #27! So as it was I was happy to finally have a clear track for the first time that race.  The top four had quite a gap at this point with about a lap to go. As I went into turn 1 for the final time I'm not sure if I didn't pressure the last shift enough or if the bike just jumped into neutral, but I was full slide until about first apex and then it hit neutral. Instantly I lost the slide and went right off the track. I got the bike slowed and turned around while Thompson, who had also found his way by Dickson, and Dickson went back in front of me. Unfortunately for Thompson he would low side that lap and I never got close enough to try and get back by Dickson. So in the end I finished sixth, which ties the best I've done this year in the premier 450 class. On paper it wasn't the result I wanted, but I had a blast being able to battle the whole Moto and fight for positions so I had to be happy with that!

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - Miller Motorsports Park - SupermotoPhoto: Butterphoto; Saturday 450 main

Overview

There were so many good points from the weekend for me to take away from. My speed was improved as was my intensity.  My team Ryder Smith Racing bike is amazing and I'm still learning how to push it. I need to work on my aggression the first lap of the race and learn how to put myself into better position in the beginning of the race. I also had fun getting to watch my wife ride my 250f in the national amateur class on Friday.  It was the first time she had ridden a true road course and it was a steep learning curve for her but she did great.  Unfortunately she didn't have time to participate in the main event as she was busy taking pictures of the races and the track and promoters didn't allow her off to try and race. Overall, Miller Motorsports Park had everything you would want, great facilities and different racing on multiple tracks. It was a great weekend with my wife, team, and the whole Supermoto family! Once again I can't thank Joe Agley enough for his belief in me and for the opportunity to ride for him this year! My wife Brenda is really the only reason I am where I'm at, without her none of this would be possible so thank you my love. I'll send it off with a huge thanks to everyone supporting the RSR Supermoto team, my friends and family, Jeff at Toxic Moto racing, SLIDEmoto, Aaron Phinney, Jeremy with Klutch Industries and MVD USA racewear, Cameron Yarbrough with Oakley, Atlas Brace, Bobby J's, FMF, Race Tech, Alex with Aspen Motoworx, Cycra, Hinson, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, Ed Baker at EHR, Pete Bonner, Philippe with Beringer Brakes, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, Matrix Concepts thank you so much for the help!

Thanks,

Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - Miller Motorsports Park - Supermoto

 

AMA Supermoto Round 4 - Colorado National Speedway

Round 4 of the 2015 AMA Supermoto championship took place over Independence Day weekend at Colorado National Speedway. It was also a double header weekend with racing on both Friday night and Saturday night. Last year the event was held on the same weekend but racing only on Saturday, so it was good to hear that the crowd and track officials liked the AMA Supermoto races enough to want two nights of racing. The schedule is also different with racing at CNS, Colorado National Speedway, as bikes play second fiddle to the local NASCAR affiliate stock car series. That's not to say it's a bad thing as the cars are what bring a majority of spectators.  The main difference for us is no heat races due to the tight schedule.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

I look forward to this event because last year Brenda and I got married on July 4th and went racing at CNS so it kind of holds a special place with me.  Also it is much more of a motocross oriented track, with the track being a banked 3/8 mile oval that features 2 dirt sections and the biggest jumps we have seen all year.

Friday

We got to the track around 8:30 AM as I had a lot of work to do. I was letting my buddy, Jake Laforge from Massachusetts, ride my Husqvarna 450 that I had raced last year since I've got my sweet RSR KTM 450 to ride this year. But all of my Supermoto stuff (wheels, brakes, triple clamps) that were in the team hauler, I had to build it from a dirt bike to a Supermoto that morning so Jake would be ready to hit the track for practice.

Sean Butterman - Jake Laforge - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

We got everything ready and went out for practice.  Our first practice would be cut short when Dustin Dominguez went over the bars hard on one of the doubles. I was one of the first riders to come through after the fall. I barely missed him since he was on the blind side of the landing. He was pinned underneath the bike so other riders stopped on the takeoff of the jump so no one would hit him. We pulled the bike off him, but it would be the end of his weekend. Even though we only got a handful of laps in my right wrist was hurting bad. I am tired of complaining about my wrist.  The truth is that it is not healthy enough to be trying to ride at this level, but I am not going to miss out on the awesome times that these Supermoto races create just because I cannot hold on. I'm happier to go out and putt around on a Supermoto bike than to be sitting around at home.

I went out for one more practice to work on my race lines and then let my wrist rest until our qualifying session came up. I think it was the dirt sections that were making it so hard on my wrist because we have not had jumps this big all year and this was the most pain I've experienced in my right wrist at the races this year. After qualifying I sat 6th overall in times and with no heat races at CNS, the only race left was the main event.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

We had about a 4 hour break till the main event and it was nice to just hang out with other racers during the downtime. I got a decent start around 6th and tried to sick with the lead group but I just didn't really have much after the first couple laps. I held on for a seventh place at the end. It was just an off day for me and I rode conservative to try to not anger my already angry wrist. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Saturday

I woke up more relaxed on Saturday. I think it was because it was our anniversary. So I wasn't as worried about not riding well and letting anyone down, I was just enjoying the moment. We knew I only had the ability to ride like myself for a couple laps before my wrist tightened up. So I skipped practice just went out for the timed qualifying.  I went 1 1/2 seconds faster than the night before and put myself forth on the grid for the main event.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

For the main I wanted to try and stay with the front runners but again after the first couple laps my wrist locked up and I went backwards, this time I finished sixth. I still had a blast riding my dirt bike and at the end of the day I'm happy to be able to ride. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Overview

I feel like I definitely struggled to ride like myself the last few races, but sometimes you just have off days. I know I have the best equipment and that bums me out when I don't perform as well as I think I should. But again, at the end of the day I'm so thankful to have the opportunities to go race Supermoto with the Ryder Smith Racing team. Joe Agley has had my back at every round and I'm super motivated to turn my season around. I'll keep trying different forms of rehab to get my wrist feeling better and hopefully by the next race I'll feel like myself again. I can't thank Brenda enough for everything she does for me, and thanks for spending our anniversary at the track! Huge thanks Timmy V for letting us stay at your house. To my supporters like my friends and family, Jeff at Toxic Moto racing, SLIDEmoto, Aaron Phinney, Jeremy with Klutch Industries and MVD USA racewear, Cameron Yarbrough with Oakley, Atlas Brace, Bobby J's, FMF, Race Tech, Alex with Aspen Motoworx, Cycra, Hinson, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, Ed Baker at EHR, Pete Bonner, Philippe with Beringer Brakes, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, Matrix Concepts thank you so much for the help!

Thanks for reading,

Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

 

AMA Supermoto Round 3 -  New Hampshire Motor Speedway

The 2015 AMA Supermoto championship made its return to the east coast this year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the weekend of June 19-21. The Supermoto races ran in conjunction with the longest running motorcycle race in the country, The 92nd Loudon Classic. It's a beautiful facility that primarily caters to cars with its high speed banked oval, but also has a road course that goes outside the walls of the oval. The result is a fun high speed road course in the beautifully wooded area of Loudon, New Hampshire. When I said high speed track I mean high speed, I was on google earth looking at the track using their distance tool to try and figure out what gearing we would need for the track. We were able to guess right which was good, this track was by far the fastest track I've ridden on a Supermoto bike.

This was also the first I have ever got to fly into a race instead of long hours of driving; not going to lie it was pretty sweet. On Wednesday I flew into Boston and met up with my teammates Dustin Hoffman and Eric Stump. Thursday was spent picking up last minute parts, changing gearing and cleaning up the bikes from the previous race. We had time to look at the track layout and get an idea of what we were in for, the asphalt was obviously going to be fast and the dirt section looked really plain and basic. You could tell the dirt wasn’t going to be as easy as it looks, they brought in sand to make a short sand section that would make for good racing and the soil had a lot of small rocks in it. We could tell the dirt would be much more technical than it looked. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Friday

Our first time on the unique track, all Supermoto practice was scheduled at the end of the day, as there was a busy schedule of road races for the Loudon Classic. I struggled to get a feel for how fast I could push into corners on the fast asphalt. Most Supermoto tracks I don’t really look for brake markers and I'm able just go off feel, but the high speed stuff I needed to adjust my riding style. The track had quite a bit of elevation change outside the oval which made the whole layout a lot of fun.  The dirt section was a lot more fun than it looked because of the loose rock as well as the sand section the dirt was fairly technical which I was stoked on. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Saturday

The race schedule would see all the AMA Supermoto races start in the midafternoon; we had the morning to hang out with other racers and fans walking around the pits. After a short warm up practice we hit the track for timed qualifying.  Our lap times were above 2 minutes and the timed qualifier was 10 so it was very important to find some clear track and lay down a fast clean lap. I was still struggling to find the lead pace on the asphalt but I felt good in the dirt. My right wrist is still not right so the heavy braking areas really aggravated it and after 3-4 laps my wrist would swell and I would lose any movement I had.  It's definitely aggravating to not be able to hold on and ride like I want to. At the same time I have a lot of support, which I'm not going to let go to waste, so I'm going to give it everything I have whenever I'm on the track. I ended time qualifying in 6th.  There were a few really fast local boys in front of me that were definitely going better on the asphalt so I knew I still needed to drop my times.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

For the heat race I started in fourth, behind Trevor Chiappisi.  He was a local guy, but boy was he fast!  Actually the northeast had a bunch of fast boys for us to deal with like Shane Narbonne, Jake LaForge, Tyler Sweeney, Boyd Brower, and obviously Chiappisi. Anyway it was good to hop behind him in the heat race as I was able to pull some lines off him on the asphalt and on the last lap I was able to sneak up the inside in the dirt and get into 3rd behind Laforge and Mcallister. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Now it was time for the main event, as we barreled into the first turn I was on the inside around 5th and Chiappisi went around the outside of me with his knee on the ground and it pretty much blew my mind. Seriously my bike was dancing around underneath me and he is just sending it around the outside of the fast turn 1. Anyway I tried my best to stay with the lead pack but after a few laps my wrist was killing me I could barely grab the front brake lever. And with about 4 laps to go I had a really stupid tip over in the sand. Then I was just mad about how I was riding and put my head down. The lead group was gone and I had quite a bit of distance on the dudes behind me, but I was able to get my fastest lap in on the very last lap of the main. At the end I was 7th.  I was definitely disappointed in how I rode but I'm glad I was able to pull it together, speed wise, at the end. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Overview

I would definitely have to say that my entire weekend at The New Hampshire Motor Speedway was epic! In the northeast everyone was super laid back and the track was amazing. All of the racers up there were super friendly and willing to help out.  It was also awesome to be able to hang out with Jeremy DeGrasse from Klutch Industries and the whole NEMM crew. Definitely a rad experience! As far as how I rode, not too many positives other than I got to ride my dirtbike. Not sure what's going on with my wrist, its been five months since the surgery and it doesn't feel right at all. I'm super thankful for all the support I have this year and I'm motivated to get healthy and get the results I feel I'm capable of. Denver is the next stop on the schedule for AMA Supermoto so looking forward to that. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

I got to give a huge shout out to my beautiful wife, Brenda.  We weren't able to go to this race together but she is always my biggest supporter and I so happy to have her in my life! I can't thank Ryder Smith Racing enough for the support; we have the best team of people and companies behind us. Big Thanks to Joe Agley, Jeff at Toxic Moto racing, SLIDEmoto, Aaron Phinney, Jeremy with Klutch Industries and MVDUSA racewear, Cameron Yarbrough with Oakley, Atlas Brace, Bobby J's, FMF, Race Tech, Alex with Aspen Motoworx, Cycra, Hinson, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, Ed Baker at EHR, Pete Bonner, Philippe with Beringer Brakes, Mika Metals, DT1 filters, Matrix Concepts, and of course my friends and family!

Thanks for the support, Sean Butterman #109 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

 

AMA Supermoto Round 2 - Road America

        The weekend of May 29-30, saw the second round of the AMA National Supermoto Series kick off at the beautiful Road America track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. I went to Road America for the first time last year and I couldn't wait to go back again this year. As the weekend drew near we could see the weather forecast was more than likely going to be wet, no worries about that because riding a Supermoto bike in the rain is just a flat out good time, As long as you have rain tires on...

Similar to any of the other long drives on the series schedule my wife and I road tripped up to Denver to carpool with our good buddy Tim Velasquez, or Timmy V as most people know him. We had to make a slight 1000 miles detour down to Oklahoma City to get Timmy V a 55 gallon drum of VP mr12 that would otherwise be unavailable in Colorado. So we had a very long night and day of driving but I didn't mind, because we were going racing in beautiful Wisconsin with the fastest Supermoto racers in the country. Seriously people, if you haven't checked out an AMA Supermoto event I highly suggest you do.  For the most part all the racers are friends and we all spend the weekend getting sideways on motorcycles, I mean I don't see a better way to spend a weekend.

Friday

       Road America hosted a practice on Friday afternoon, it was rad day overall. With practice not being until the afternoon we had most of the day to hang out with everyone and check out some road race action since it was also the Motoamerica race weekend. It was raining on and off all day but when it came time for Supermoto practice the sun came out and gave us a dry track.  Unfortunately the rain had made the dirt section a no go for the entire weekend. It was great to get some more seat time on my new Ryder Smith Racing KTM 450.  It is the best bike I have ever ridden and I can't thank Joe Agley enough for building the team such amazing race bikes. Also my mechanic Alex did an amazing job with my motor and setup. I felt really good Friday and I feel like my speed is coming back now.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Saturday

        Woke up Saturday morning to heavy rains, which made a busy day for the track crew and everyone at AMA Supermoto.  They had their work cut out to give a fine evening of racing. Definitely got to throw a shout-out to all the people behind the scenes that day, especially Dennis Stewart.  That man changes so many tires for all the racers and we are super glad to have him around!

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Around 4pm the rain cleared and we hit the track for qualifying at 4:30, practice was in full wet conditions. It was a short qualifier of only seven minutes, I felt super confident in the wet with my Metzler rain tires. It was amazing how hard we could push the bikes in the wet, at the end of the session I sat 4th overall. As the heat race drew near a dry line was starting to emerge, we gambled and put a slick on the rear and left the rain tire on the front. I was able to get a decent jump off the line and be second to the first corner behind Gage McAllister.  The first few laps were a little slick but I expected that since the track was cold and still wet in places. About three or so laps in my rear tire had enough heat in it to where I could start pushing. Toward the end of the heat race Micky Dymond was able to sneak inside through a puddle on the final corner and take second from me. In hindsight I probably would have been better off leaving the rain tires on, but it was good because I got a feel for how the slicks reacted to the cold and damp track.

Main event came around and most racers were back on full slicks, my third place in the heat race had me on the inside of row 2. Into the first corner I was around sixth place, battling with Chase Guthrie, Jake Thompson, and Sam Knox the first couple laps.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Around lap 4 I was trying to sneak underneath Guthrie for forth and ended up lowsiding the bike, luckily I was fine and I didn't take anyone down with me. I was definitely frustrating that I had just thrown away a good position. I got back going and just focused on hitting my apexs and worked on being smooth on the cold and slippery track. In the end I made it back up to 8th place. I was actually pretty stoked on my riding throughout the weekend, it was a bummer the rain made the dirt section unridable but I feel that I'm making gains on the asphalt and my speed is getting better every time I hit the track.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Overview

         I'm super happy with how the weekend went, I just need to focus on a few areas of my riding and keep it on two wheels. Overall I couldn't be happier; I had my wife with me on the trip and the best team I could ever ask for. No matter the results on the track, being around all the people that make up the Supermoto community will make it an awesome weekend. We also got to stay in Sheboygan and hit up Legendary Larry's, which is a sweet dive bar we found last year that had great food, drinks, and good times. We had the place pretty much filled with Supermoto racers.

       A huge thanks goes out to my beautiful wife Brenda for helping me chase my dream and taking care of everything for me on race day. Ryder Smith Racing has built my teammates and myself the best bikes on the track and there are a lot of companies that make the team what it is, but it would not be anything close to as good as it is without Joe Agley. So thanks for believing in me and supporting me Joe. I definitely have the best people and the best companies in my corner and for that I'm so grateful. Thanks to Jeff at Toxic Moto racing, SLIDEmoto, Aaron Phinney, Jeremy with Klutch Industries and MVDUSA racewear, Cameron Yarbrough with Oakley, Atlas brace, Bobby J's, FMF, Race Tech, Aspen Motoworx, Cycra, Hinson, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, Pete Bonner, Philippe with Beringer Brakes, Mika Metals, Dt1 filters, Matrix Concepts, and of course my friends and family!

Thanks for the support,

Sean Butterman #109

Another cool thing we have had at the races this year is some cool t-shirts for sale that all proceeds go directly to the Ronald McDonald house of Philadelphia.

Supermoto Edition

I'm pumped to be part the #supermotoedition fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald house of Philadelphia, check it out at the next AMA Supermoto race or hit me up for more info!

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

 

AMA Supermoto Round 1 Race report

The 2015 AMA Supermoto series kicked off on April 4, 2015. First, I will fill you in on my offseason or lack thereof. November, 2014 I traveled cross county to race in Tallahassee, FL for the 5th annual Tallahassee Supermoto Jam; it was a killer event that Larry Wolfe and Thunder Mchaffie put on. Unfortunately, I came up short on a triple the day before the main race and broke both of my wrists. My right wrist took the majority of the impact, which shattered the radius and dislocated my wrist, causing me to undergo surgery to have it plated with 9 screws. I was bummed to be off my bike, but luckily the 2014 AMA Supermoto Championship was already over and I didn't have any more races for the rest of 2014. I wasn't really worried at the time about being ready for the AMA Supermoto 2015 series, since it was over 4 months away. I felt I had enough time to heal, rehab, and get back on a bike. It turned out not to be the case, the trauma to my wrist was much more extensive then I was originally aware of. So fast forward to the present, my right wrist isn't completely healed and I got to ride my Motocross bike a total of 3 times to try and get some practice time in before going to the first race of the season.

For this 2015 season, I've been blessed with the opportunity to ride for the RSR Supermoto Team; it’s been amazing to have such strong support coming back from this injury. Joe Agley is the team owner and also the main dude behind the AMA Supermoto series (other than Mr. Matt Stewart), it's been a dream come true to ride for Joe’s team. Since I was coming into the first race with no preparation, the team and I decided it was in our best interest for me to ride my 2014 Husqvarna fc450, which I had raced the previous year, so I could be comfortable and not worry about trying to dialing in the new Ktm 450 I'll be on later this year.  

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

On another side note, I'm pumped that I got to machine custom triple clamps for the RSR Supermoto race team. Since I'm a machinist I’ve made my own triple clamps for my Supermoto bikes over the past few years and people have noticed. It was cool to show up at this round and have six bikes in the paddock with my customs clamps on them; it was really cool to see!

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Race day

     Race day was made up of one short free practice, a time qualifier, the heat race, and the main event. I knew going into the day it would be a real challenge for my right wrist to hold onto the bike for more than five laps. So for the free practice I only went out for a few laps to scrub in my new Metzler tires, 2007 was the last time that I rode on Metzler tires and wow do they hook up! 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Qualifying

For the timed qualifying, I went out and just tried running a few consistent laps and then retired from the session to give my wrist as much rest as possible. That didn't do me any favors as I sat in 14th position after the session ended. With my wrist not being fully healed it made it really hard to log consistent laps, the dirt section and corner transitions caused me the most pain throughout the course. The 14th position overall put me 7th on the grid for my heat race.

Heat Race

For the start of the race I got a good jump off the line, I made some quick passes in the first few corners and was around 5th or 6th position, right behind Gary Trachy. Then got I little too greedy with the throttle coming off a tight 180 left hander and low sided the bike towards the end of the first lap. I went back into last; I put my head down and got back up to 6th place by the end of the 8 lap heat race. 

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Main Event

The 6th place finish in the heat race put me 13th on the grid for the 20 lap main event. Yet again, I got a good jump off the starting line and was able squeeze by a few people going into the first turn. After the first few laps, my wrist was so stiff and swollen so I went into preservation mode and had to rotate my arm to use the throttle. It made it really hard to break for corners or get on the gas exiting them. I had NorCal’s fast boy Sam Knox in front of me and I just focused on trying to stay as close as possible to him and not give up. Around half way through the race, Jake Thompson caught me and I didn’t have anything for him as I could barely hold on to the bike at that point. Late in the race I was able to capitalize on a mistake by Knox and get by him for 9th position. The last few laps I just focused on staying as close to Thompson as I could and held on to 9th place.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Overview

Going into the weekend my goals were to get through the first race healthy and inside the top ten. Looking back now I am happy with how the weekend went, my wife Brenda and the RSR Supermoto team did an amazing job with keeping me comfortable and helping me deal with my injury. It was frustrating at times, because, I wasn't able to ride like myself and I felt like I was letting all my supporters down. Now that the first race is over I can finish healing and focus on going into round 2 at Road America ready to battle. I also need to recognize the guys over at Allsport Dynamics for building me a set of custom wrist braces, without these braces I wouldn't feel comfortable riding at this stage in my recovery. The Allsport Dynamic braces are definitely something you won’t see me ride without. I can't thank the people behind me enough for the support and also thanks to Matt Stewart, Joe Agley, and everyone else behind AMA Supermoto team for keeping this amazing sport alive. The grids for this year are so stacked and that is great to see!

So the biggest shout-out of course goes to my wife Brenda, she kept me motivated and did everything from tire warmers, goggle prep, to being out on the track taking photos! Huge thanks to the whole RSR Supermoto team, Joe, our mechanic Alex and also my badass teammates Dustin Hoffman and Eric Stump. I couldn't ask for a better setup this year! There are so many people that helped me with my program and this year we brought some new companies to the Supermoto races, thanks to Cameron Yarbrough with Oakley for getting RSR Supermoto team setup with the best goggles out there! Thanks to the guys at Tech One Designs for busting out some team RSR graphics for my Husqvarna, their stuff is top notch! Also, another piece of safety equipment you won't see me without is an Atlas neck brace, so thank you Bobby Acuna for the support. Thanks also to Jeff at Toxic Moto racing, Slide Moto, Aaron Phinney with MVDUSA race wear, Jeremy with Klutch Industries, Bobby J's, FMF, Race Tech, Aspen Motoworks, Cycra, Hinson, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, Pete Bonner, Philippe with Beringer Brakes, Mika Metals, Dt1 filters, and of course the rest of my friends and family!

Thanks for the support,

Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

 

2014

AMA Supermoto Round 5 from Sturgis, South Datoka - September 13-14, 2014

When I think of Sturgis, I think of big v-twins leaking oil, and a bunch of bikers having a good time, but now I think of Supermoto bikes sliding sideways down Main Street. This past weekend, September 13th and 14th, marked the second annual Supermoto race being held in the downtown streets of Sturgis, South Dakota. It also was my second time to this beautiful city, its hard to explain how awesome it is to visit such a unique place. To have a town that willing to shut down its downtown streets to build a race track through it, it's amazing and I'm so pumped to be able to experience an event like this.

Friday

So the weekend’s events were kicked off with a press conference on Friday afternoon and I was lucky enough to be one of the riders included. To make it in time my wife, Brenda, and I left on Thursday after work. We drove up to Denver and stayed with our good friend Tim Velasquez. Got a couple hours of sleep and carpooled the rest of the way to Sturgis with Timmy V and his sister. It was a cool experience to do the press conference and to be included with the fastest Supermoto racers in the country. It was a good opportunity to thank all the people and businesses involved in putting on this unique event, as well as the people and sponsors that help me race. Friday night was a charity event in which racers waited tables and tended bar, competing for tips. At the end of the night all the tips where collected and given to local charities. It was just an awesome day all around!

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto credit: Randy Ericksen Legendaryrandyericksenfilms.com

Saturday

It was race day and I was nervous, really nervous. As racers, I think we all get nervous before big races, I also think its part of what makes racing so rewarding at the end of day. Once I hit the track for practice the nerves just kind of faded back, the track was so much fun to ride. It was really slick which made line choice and throttle control of utmost important. It also featured two technical dirt sections with some really fun jumps. There was a big change to my program this weekend, as I had the opportunity to race Joe Agley's race prepped KTM 450. Joe has been instrumental in the success of the AMA Supermoto series this year. Since he partnered with Matt Stewart, the series has only become better and better thanks to both of them.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto credit: Stugis Photo & Gifts

Heat Races

This round, heat race grid positions were chose in a pea pick instead of the normal time qualifying determining the order. My name was pulled last for both classes, 250 and premier. With the classes having less than 20 racers, the heat races are just mini main events that only count for grid position in the main. 450 heat race came first, I felt really good in practice so I knew I needed to try and make passes early and get toward the front. I got a decent jump and got lucky when everyone bunched up toward the inside of the first turn and I was able to come out in 10th after the first turn. The first dirt section I was able to pick up more positions. By the end of the first lap I was in fourth behind Micky Dymond, Eric Stump, and Joey Pascarella. Joey had started in the back like me as well and I was able to follow him through the pack. I got by Stump and had Dymond and Pascarella in front of me. At that point I thought, well this is where I'm gonna finish if I can keep McAllister behind me. Then I slowly started catching Dymond, Eventually he would bobble coming out of the dirt section in front of the Knuckle Saloon and I was able to get by. I would finish 2nd behind Pascarella, I was stoked! This was the best I had ever done against the heavy hitters in the premier class.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto credit: John Hansen

Next came the 250 heat race, the cool part about the 250 class this weekend was the addition of Pascarella and Gage McAllister to the lineup. The two fastest Supermoto racers in the country were racing both pro classes! Off the start I got a great jump on my Husqvarna FC250 and was able to get into 4th quickly. Then moved into third behind Pascarella and Ron Reed. I spent the majority of this heat trying to find a way around Reed and keep Gage behind me. Reed would make a mistake in the dirt section letting both Gage and myself by. In the end I finished second with Gage right behind me.

Main Events

The confidence was flowing going into the mains. First up was the Premier 450 class, I was second into the first turn. Tim Velasquez and I battled in the first dirt section where he got the better of me, but half a lap later Timmy would tuck the front wheel and go down right in front of me. I ran into the back of his bike and also went down. It was a bummer for both of us, but kind of funny to think that we drove up together only to crash together. But I pick up Joe Agley's sweet bike and put my head down.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto credit: Rapid City Journal

The track was very hard to pass on but offered more passing abilities than the previous year. I just had fun riding the track, if you pushed too hard you would only go slower, but at the same time you're pushing limits of the slick city streets, sliding both ends of the bike a lot of time. It was a hard balance of aggression and patience to go fast on that track. In the end I would make my way up to sixth behind Cory Gabbert and Monte Frank. I was happy to make it all the way to sixth from last.

Now the 250 pro main, I was fired up to make it happen after having thrown away what I felt could have been a podium in the 450 class. Maybe I was a little too fired up, either way I got my first holeshot of the year and I knew I had some really fast company behind me. So I was charging through the first dirt section and ended up cross rutting in the last part of the section. I'll step back and focus on this section for a minute. You came down First Street and backed it in to a ninety degree corner into the famous Knuckle Saloon's front patio area. The dirt section was the Full length of the Knuckle saloon, between First and Second Street. It featured a short wall jump entering and exiting the dirt to check us up and keep the speed down some.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto credit: Sturgis Photos & Gifts

In between the wall jumps were three doubles, first a small one then a big one that shot you up even with the second floor balcony of the saloon, then another small one right before the wall jump at the end of the section. The dirt section was made more technical because of the rain in the area the week leading up to the event. The dirt had good traction but was soft from the moisture and the jump faces rutted up. Which isn't something you usually end up dealing with on slicks. Well back to the race, I cross rutted the last double jump that first lap while leading and just slid out over the wall jump. I kept the bike running and reentered racing in tenth position. Three laps later I had caught my championship rival Nicky Reimer who was in 4th, and then I would end up wrecking off the same jump as I had in the beginning. This time I dragged my pegs pretty hard of the face of the jumps and endoed into the landing and cartwheeled pretty hard off the wall jump onto the asphalt. That wreck took a while to get going from.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto’s credit: Randy Ericksen

The bike was bent up and I was about 15 seconds from getting lapped by Pascarella and McAllister, again I put my head down and just had a blast riding my bike. My PJ's Motorcycles Husqvarna has just been marvelous all year. By the end of the race I was up to fifth position. I was disappointed in myself for crashing, twice. But I was also thankful I wasn't seriously hurt. I rode into the pits and put my bike on its stand and just hugged my wife. Brenda is my biggest cheerleader, doesn't matter if I won or lost seeing her makes me thankful for everything I have.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto’s credit: Randy Ericksen

Wrap Up

Saturday night after the race The Loud American Roadhouse hosted the awards ceremony and after party.  Huge thanks to them it was a ton of fun that night with legal burnouts in front of the bar and great food and drinks, and maybe a few too many drinks for myself. I raced the dash for cash races Sunday, but I was in no shape to be racing. I was so sore from crashes the day before, but anytime I'm on the bike its fun. Finish 3rd in the 250 dash and 5th in the 450 dash. Looking back now I'm really happy with how I rode in Sturgis, I had really good speed and was a podium threat in both classes. I'm healthy and can go into the final round in Las Vegas having learned from my mistakes in Sturgis. The City of Sturgis was amazing; I can't thank all the city officials and workers enough for putting together an amazing racetrack.  And thanks to Joe Agley and Matt Stewart, as well as everyone behind AMA Supermoto for making this event a reality. I also want to thank all the businesses in Sturgis for their support of this annual race. Another very cool experience I had this weekend was the honor of working with photographer and film maker, Randy Erickson. Big shout out to him, it was really awesome to work with you and sorry about the cameras I knocked off the bike during my crashes. Of course it wouldn't be possible for me to have the ability to go racing on the top notch equipment that I have without the amazing people and sponsors behind me. So huge thanks to my wife for everything you do for me on and off the track, Joe Agley for your belief in me and that sweet 450 of yours that I rode this weekend. Thank you to Aaron Phinney, Jeremy at Klutch Industries, everyone at PJ's Motorcycles, Jeff and Toxic Moto Racing Tim Velasquez, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, the Reeds, Johnny Sears, Phil Waters at Dunlop, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, Philippe at Beringer Brakes, 100%, Victory Circle Graphics, Pete Bonner, Mark Wright with Pro Action, and all my family and friends.

Thanks for reading, Sean Butterman #109.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto credit: Randy Ericksen Legendaryrandyericksenfilms.com

 

AMA Supermoto Round 4 from Miller Motorsports Park - July 26 - 27, 2014

Round 4 of the AMA Supermoto series took place at the amazing Miller Motorsports Park. This race is one I really look forward to, the track is just superb and so is the facility. Miller Motorsports Park had a packed schedule this past weekend, July 26th and 27th, with what they call Bike Fest. It hosted multiple race organization such as WERA, Utah Supermoto, and of course AMA Supermoto on the same weekend as well as stunt demos, kart rentals, and shifter kart races. With a packed schedule, it made for a spread out schedule of racing. Friday there was an open practice, Saturday evening would be timed qualifying, and Sunday would be the heat races and Main events.

Friday my wife and I drove through the night and got to the track around 9 am. It was great to get some practice in. I felt good on my Husqvarna FC250, as I have all year. The new FC450 was more of a struggle and I only have myself to blame for that. I have the best suspension company behind me, Mark Wright with Pro Action. I just didn't get my suspension up to him in time for this race. Having stock suspension at round 3 in Denver wasn't as big of a deal since the track in Denver was much slower and shorter. Miller Motorsports Park has a very busy asphalt segment to its track, which makes it so fun to ride. With a lot double apex corners, it seems like you are always laid over on the edge of the tire. The biggest bummer on Friday, and probably the entire weekend, was the ultra-talented Nicky Reimer had a get off that would end up shattering his left clavicle. Reimer is such a boss though, he still lined up and raced, broken bones and all.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Friday Evening

So after practice, local hero and my good friend, Jeff Rydalch took a big group of us to a cool restaurant/brewery for dinner. Which was followed up with a dozen or so of us renting bicycles and touring downtown Salt Lake City until midnight or so. It safe to say we conquered that city, and bombed down any staircase that stood in our way...

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto: Aaron Phinney's phone

Saturday

We didn't hit the track until 5 pm Saturday evening for timed qualifying, which was nice considering were spent most of the previous night on bicycles. First up was 250 pro qualification, I found some really good lines on the asphalt and it showed. I qualified on top with a 1:58.6. Next up was the pro premier class, as I said early I was struggling on the 450. I think the biggest difference is the brakes, and the fact that the 450 comes into the corners a lot faster. But the six piston Beringer brake on the 250 is noticeably more powerful, but also more useable in the dirt, than the 4 piston Brembo I run on the 450. I never felt that I got in a good hot lap on the 450, but ended qualifying in 6th position with a 1:59.1. Which wasn't bad but I was a little frustrated that I was faster on my 250 on a track that, in my opinion, favors the power of the 450.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Sunday

It was race day and I was in bad need of some new rubber. After qualifying both of my bikes had no wear indicators left on the tires. Luckily Tim Velasquez helped me out and sold me a set of slightly worn Dunlops, which we put on the 250 since that is our main focus right now. First race of the day would be the dash for cash, top 8 overall qualifiers 3 laps winner take all. I figured since I was faster on the 250 I may as well race it, plus the reigning 250 champ Ron Reed was also in the dash on his 250. So I saw it as a few more practice laps to make sure I was dialed. Off the start Reed and I were last into the first corner, since we were on 250’s. In the first dirt section there was a pile up and I came out in forth behind Timmy V. Timmy would have to retire early from the short race because of fuel issues. I rode a quiet 3rd, as McAllister and Stump were on rails and checked out.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Heat Races

250 Pro Lites was first, I got a horrible jump and came around the first corner in fifth or so. By the end of the first lap I was in second, Ron Reed had a good gap already. I put my head down and closed the gap down some. Reed had a problem halfway through when his shifter striped and left him unable to shift for the rest of the race. I came away with the win and kept pole position for the Main. With just a few moments between my heat races I was back out there for the premier class heat race, I got a much better jump on the 450 but came around in 9 or so. I spent the whole race in a battle with NorCal fast guy Andrew Dickson for 7th, but was relegated to eighth on the last lap as I was passed by Brandon Ward.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhotos: Duff's Racing

250 Pro Lites Main

Another young talent out of California, Josh Serne, would best me in the first turn. It was cool to have Josh in the mix, the dude has skills. He was also pulling double duty that weekend, road racing and Supermoto, so hats off to him. I was able to make a pass in the dirt on Josh, and so did Ron Reed. Reed was on me so I put my head down the entire race, I knew any mistake would open the door for Reed. In the end I came away with the victory which felt awesome, having come up short the last two races. I was so pumped, but it was also bittersweet having Reimer injured and not at his full potential, I know he would have been a handful that day. Can't wait to see him back in action in Sturgis!

Pro Premier Main Event

I had about five minutes to get ready to race the premier main. I came around the first lap in sixth or so. Again I found myself battling with Dickson. I was able to make a pass in the dirt and get into fifth, but then it was everything I could do to hold on. I was exhausted from the 250 race just a few minutes prior. I made a mistake and blew wide in a corner and let Jake Thompson by. I stayed close to maybe make another pass, but as the race went on I had to back it down. I was just making mistakes everywhere. At the end of the race I was sixth, and extremely disappointed in how I rode. On the bright side, I didn't fall and I was greeted by my lovely wife as I exited the track, so I couldn't be too bummed.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Overall it was a great weekend and a successful one. I know what I need to work on to get better and riding at Miller Motorsports Park was amazing. I can't thank Matt, Joe, Cory, and everyone behind the scenes enough for putting together these races. Huge thanks to Jerry and Carrie for letting Brenda and I stay at their place. It was rad hanging out with them. Thanks to Jeff Rydalch for constantly helping me out and for showing us around Salt Lake City Friday night. I would not be able to have all these opportunities without all the amazing people and companies supporting me. First and foremost my wife, Aaron Phinney, Jeremy at Klutch industries, everyone at PJ's Motorcycles, special thanks to Josef Balansky and Bobby Rhodes, Tim Velasquez, Benny Tozzi with Bell Helmets, the Reeds, Johnny Sears, Phil waters at Dunlop, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, Philippe at Beringer Brakes, 100%, Victory Circle Graphics, Pete Bonner, Mark Wright with Pro Action, and all my family and friends. So I can't wait until round 5 in Sturgis, another chance to improve on the 450 and stay on top of the podium in the 250 class!

Thanks for reading, Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

 

AMA Supermoto Round 3 from Colorado National Speedway - July 5 - 6, 2014

The third round of the AMA Supermoto Championship took place in Denver, CO. On July 5, 2014 at Colorado National Speedway. First, I need to back up one day to July 4, Independence Day here in the good ol' United States, and it was also the day I married the woman of my dreams. That's right Brenda and I got married in front of a small group of our friends and family in our hometown of Albuquerque, NM. Then we immediately proceeded to drive up to Denver, CO to go racing the very next day.

Needless to say, we had a busy week leading up to the weekend. Not only did we have our wedding, but we also had financed a brand new Husqvarna FC450. Thanks to the guys over at PJ's Motorcycles. So, there was a mad rush to build triple clamps and supermoto wheels for the new 450.

I was on cloud nine driving up to Denver, I had my wife by my side, some sweet Husqvarna motorcycles and we were going racing against some of the best supermoto racers in the US. Friday night we may have stayed up a little too late celebrating, but thanks to Aaron, Shane and Timmy V for making it special.

winning!Photo: my wife is amazing

We got to the track when the gates opened at noon on Saturday. The track was at the Colorado National Speedway, being based around a 3/8 mile paved oval. It had a fun unique layout that included two dirt sections, some big jumps, chicanes and big banked corners.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto: Xtreme Xposure photo, the amazing FC450

We had an hour long open practice to learn the track and I went out on the 450 first to shake down the new bike. I did about 6 laps or so and just couldn't get comfortable on the bike. I came in, grab the 250 and went back out. I realized rather abruptly that jumping between the two bikes would be difficult. The 250 you have to carry momentum everywhere and you can really push the bike hard without it getting out of control, the 450 requires more patience and finesse. I have to give a shout out to Shane Narbonne for showing me some lines and helping me dial the track in a little quicker, it was such a bummer he wrecked. Narbonne had the speed to battle for the win that night.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto: Xtreme Xposure photo

Time qualifying came around and I ended up with the fastest lap in the 250 lites pro by over a second. In the 450 qualifier I still didn't feel comfortable on the bike, but I ended up 4th fastest and went a couple tenths of a second faster than I did on the 250. I was stoked when I saw the times. I was on the front row in both classes!

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto:Xtreme Xposure photo, start on the lites pro main

First up was the Pro Lites main event, even though I had set the fastest lap in qualifying I knew that the '13 defending champ Ron Reed and Nicky Reimer, would bring it during the main. Additional note, Reimer and I both came into round 3 tied for the points lead, so one of us would relinquish the points lead after the race. Ron Reed got the holeshot off the line, as I slotted into second. The next ten laps would be some of the tightest racing I have ever been a part of. Reed and I both had faster laps times than we had in qualifying, but I was never able to make a pass stick. I ended the race in second place a foot behind Reed. This is the second race in a row this year I have come up just shy of the win. I rode well, but this unquestionably lit a fire under me to make it happen at round 4.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto:Xtreme Xposure Photo, reed and myself spent the entire race about like this.

With this race being run in conjunction with the Nascar sanctioned stock car race, we had about an hour break between the 250 main and 450 main. I was stoked to be grided on the front row but I didn't get the best jump off the line. But the new FC450 having so much power I was able to make it to the first corner in 4th. It took a few laps for me to adjust to the big bike. At the beginning the top three of the race are Monte Frank, Gage McAllister, and Brandon Ward, with a small gap on me.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto: Xtreme Xposure photo, 450 main

As I settle in better with the 450 my lap time dropped and I slowly started gaining on third, as the race went on I didn't think that I would catch Ward. With a few laps left Brandon collided with a lapped rider over one of the jumps, luckily no one went down. But the incident was enough for me to get onto Ward's rear wheel and try going for a pass. As we took the white flag I was on him, I wanted to try and dive inside for the position going into the second dirt section. Unfortunately for me, in my haste to build the new bike I forgot to tighten a bolt on my hand guard, and as it would happen the bolt came out on the last lap and the handgaurd laid over the front brake lever, it didn't actuate the brake or anything it just covered it so that my fingers could not grab the lever. As we went into one of the infield corners I went for the front brake only to grab the handgaurd and blow right off the track. I didn't lose any positions and finished 4th. It was a bummer to make such a mistake and lose any chance of battling for the position. But I'm very thankful my mistake didn’t hurt myself, anyone else, or the bike.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto: Xtreme Xposure Photo

Overall, I believe I rode the best I ever have on a supermoto bike. The results didn't really show how good I felt, but In a few weeks time I will get to try again at round 4 in Salt Lake City. I think looking back now I'm happy with the first race on the 450, and in the 250 class I gained a few points and kept the red plate going into round 4. The biggest thanks goes out to my wife, for making it possible to chase my dreams of racing motorcycles and blowing off a honeymoon to go racing instead. Another big thanks to Paul Pecoraro for bringing me a rotor so that I could have a brake on the 450. Also thanks the guys over PJ's Motorcycles for getting me on the best bikes ever, Phil Waters at Dunlop, Mark Wright at Pro Action, Benny Tozzi with Bell helmets, Pete Bonner, Jeremy at Klutch Industries, MVD Racewear, Jeff at Toxic Moto racing, Aaron Phinney, Shane Narbonne for being better than me at everything, Timmy V, the Reeds, and of course my family and friends for the support.

Thanks for reading, Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto:Xtreme Xposure photo

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA SupermotoPhoto:Xtreme Xposure photo, looking to keep the red plates on the 250

AMA Supermoto Round 2 from Road America - May 30-June 1, 2014

This past Saturday, May 31, saw round 2 and AMA Supermoto championship take place at the beautiful Road America circuit in Elkhart lake, Wisconsin. With it being a bit of a haul from New Mexico to Wisconsin, about 24 hours of driving. I carpooled with New Mexico's own fast road race guy, Kelcey Walker in his first attempt at a supermoto national. Walker and myself drove north to Denver, where we loaded up with, all around cool dude and total savage on a bike, Tim Velasquez.

There was a practice Friday evening that Road America put on, which was great to get some track time. The supermoto track, at Road America, that we raced on had so much elevation change. Which is awesome, it adds a lot of technicality to the track since it massively affect your ability to trailbrake depending on if the corner if off chambered or it going down hill. It's fun to find the fine line between charging to hard and not enough.

Before long, It was Saturday and race day. Again I would be pulling double duty on my, PJ's motorcycles husqvarna FC250, racing both lites pro and the premier open pro classes. Qualifying went very well, I had a fresh set of dunlop tires on my bike, and I qualified first in 250 and fifth in premier.

Time for the lites pro main, I had learned at the first round the young Californian, Nicky Reimer, was gonna give me a run for my money. Off the start Reimer would best me to the first corner, I tried to pass anywhere I could without getting to rough or taking myself out. Before I new it the white flag was out and I'm still trying to get into the lead. At the finish we were just feet apart, but I couldn't be to bummed on it. Reimer rode awesome, I gave it everything I had the whole race. And Husqvarna was one and two in the lites class!

After a fifteen minute break I was out on the grid for the premier class main event. After struggling with my start in the lites class I got an awesome jump off the line this time, I made it to the first turn in fifth. Which I felt was great, since Im on a 250 against the 450s, and also speaks volumes for just how good the husqvarna fc250 is. I made my way to 4th place in the early laps and then Monte Frank, who was in third at the time, had a quick tip over in the first dirt corner.

I found myself in third, only to have one the east coast finest riders, Shane Narbonne all over me. Narbonne and myself went back and forth for a few laps before he made the pass stick and set his sights on going after ward in second. Now I had Oklahoma's Monte Frank, after gathering himself back up from the early crash, on my rear end. The 250 did well but it just couldn't get up the hills and down the straight like the 450s, it was only a matter of time before Frank got around me. I kept my head down the whole 20min and finish 5th. Which, with all things considered, I was stoked to be top 5 in the premier class.

Overall, I'm happy with my results and my riding. I stayed off the ground and had some really great battles. I can't wait to go to Denver for round 3, it should make for epic races in both classes.

In closing I really have to thank my fiancé, Brenda, for everything she does to give me the ability to go to these races and chase my dreams, without her I couldn't do any of this. Also, PJ's Motorcycles have been instrumental in my success this year, they have given me an amazing motorcycle. Phil Watters at Dunlop for some fresh tires, the Dunlops are unbelievable. Benny Tozzi has gone above and beyond to get me a new helmet, after my highside at Round one, and getting my graphics dialed through Victory Circle Graphics. Aaron and Jeremy, with Klutch Industries, for supporting myself and the sport of supermoto with the best gear in the business, MVD racewear. Huge thanks to everyone else that support me, Jeff at Toxic Moto Racing, Pete Bonner, 100%, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters.

Thanks for reading! Sean Butterman #109

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: even did some sightseeing, it was a little strange to do normal people activities that didn't involve motorcycles

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: Ryan Stephen photo of the beautiful facility

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: Cameron Surratt photo, lite pro qualifying

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: Ryan Stephen photo, premier class qualifying race

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: Jeremy DeGrasse photo, the PJ's Motorcycles Husqvarna FC250

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: Ryan Stephen photo, opening ceremonies with Blake Wharton, Shane Narbonne, Brandon Ward, Gage McAllister, myself, and Shelina Moreda

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: Ryan Stephen photo, supermoto manfriend and bell helmet dude, Benny Tozzi, making sure my head is protected

 

AMA Supermoto Round 1 from Lake Havasu race report from 250 ProLites rider Sean Butterman

Last Saturday was the first round of 2014 AMA Supermoto national championship, in Lake Havasu City Arizona. As many know husqvarna motorcycles rolled out an entire new line of motorcycles for 2014, but with this new line, and late production of new models, availability has been an issue in the early part of this year. With two weeks before the start of the AMA Supermoto Series, and no new 450 husqvarna available in New Mexico. The amazing crew over at PJ's motorcycles and myself decide to take a chance and race Husqvarna's new 250 four stoke motocross bike, the all new FC250, in both AMA supermoto pro class's, lites(250) and premier(450).

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: marylex

I gave myself a rough start to the day, by highsiding at the end of the back straight in the second practice. I was alright, definitely banged up, but ok to continue. After straightening the bike back out from the crash. I went out for timed qualifying. In 250 qualifying I felt solid, the reigning 250 champ, Ron Reed, and myself jumped out on the track first to get a clear track, and lay down some fast laps. Ron and myself were definitely close in speed but at the end of the session I sat on top of the leaderboard with a slightly faster lap time.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: marylex 250 qualifying

Next came the premier class timed qualifying, since I was running both classes I didn't want to stay out long and burn up my body and tires more than I needed to. I only got one clean lap in the few laps I did of the session. I had qualified 11th but knew I had more in me for the main events later.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: marylex 450 qualifying

It was time for the 250 pro main, I felt I like had a good shot at the win as long as I got a good start. Top four in qualifying had been pretty close. Off the start Ron Reed got the better of me and had the holeshot. I tucked in behind him, trying to figure out where I could maybe try to make a pass. I few laps in I got a gift, he made a mistake in the dirt sections and stalled his bike. I had a clear track and put my head down, but that next lap through dirt section I came into a corner and lost my front end went down.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: geocrash photography

I was able to hop right up keep the motor running, As I was getting up the fast young California rider, Nicky Reimer, got around me and got a little lead. This time I new I had to charge if I wanted to win this race, I slowly inched up to Nicky. Once I got to him it to took 3-4 laps before I finally made a pass that stuck. I was once again in the lead with two laps left, and just rode my own race to the finish.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto Photo: marylex

With a short break it's was time to go racing again. Racing the 250f against 450s is an experience that can be frustrating, but I feel it makes me try harder to be better and make less mistakes. Off the start I think I started around 10th. Right behind Oklahoma's Monte Frank, around half way it was able to get around him. There was a group a couple second up from me, but I couldn't gain on them. My pace was good I just started to far back to be able to battle with any of the other front runners. I finish the main event in eighth.

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

Sean Butterman - Klutch Industries - AMA Supermoto

In closing I'm very happy with my riding. Also the new husqvarna fc250 is an amazing motorcycle, with no testing and putting the bike together so last minute I couldn't ask for anything better. So a huge thanks to Pj's motorcycles for giving me the opportunity to have amazing equipment and support behind me. Also Aaron Phinney with MVD racewear for the gear and support this weekend, 100% goggle and gloves, mika metals, DT1 filters, my fiancé Brenda, as well as my family. Can't wait for round two in Wisconsin, I look forward to keeping the points lead and red plate in the 250 class and improving my result in the 450 class.

Thank you so much for your support.

Sean Butterman