It will be a busy weekend for Troy Lee Designs Honda's Jeremy McGrath as, not only will he be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, but he'll also be renewing a friendly rivalry with former AMA Motocross/Supercross foe Doug Henry in round three of the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship at the PromoWest Pavilion in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

McGrath and Henry are just two of the star-filled line-up of riders slated to compete in Columbus. McGrath, who'll be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame at a dinner ceremony on Saturday night, will be on the track on Sunday attempting to win his first AMA Red Bull Supermoto race, after coming third in the opening round at Laguna Seca in July, and running among the leading qualifiers at the August round in South Boston. Meanwhile, Henry, a three-time AMA motocross champion, is making his supermoto debut in Columbus, riding a factory-supported Yamaha, and thinks his motocross background gives him an edge.

"I'm used to a motocross bike and I know how it reacts and how it handles to certain obstacles and certain situations, so I feel like I have a little bit of a jump on maybe a road racer or a flat tracker who is coming off of a different type of a machine," he said, "Flat track bikes are similar to motocross bikes, but they don't use brakes very much. I think that we motocrossers will have an advantage with the braking over the flat trackers. With road racers, I think we'll have an advantage because we're riding more of a motocross bike."

It was former multi-time AMA Motocross and Supercross champ Jeff Ward who won the first round and three-time AMA Superbike champ Doug Chandler who won round two, so maybe it will be a flat tracker's turn to win in Columbus.

There's no shortage of top-level flat track racers slated to race in Columbus. Brett Landes is hot off a victory in the AMA Progressive Insurance US Flat Track Championship this summer, and is scheduled to ride on the CMH Exhaust McAllister Motorsports Honda. Joining Landes from the flat track ranks is 2002 Ricky Graham AMA US Flat Track Rookie of the Year, Jake Johnson. Johnson will ride a Moroney's Johnson Honda. Rusty Rogers and Steve Beattie are also hoping to give the flat track community its first supermoto victory.

Other big names in the Columbus Supermoto race in include former Daytona 200 winner David Sadowski, freestyle motocross champ Mike Metzger and former AMA Supersport champ Mike Smith.

While the big name riders are getting most of the attention, some lesser known riders are trying to steal the spotlight with their excellent supermoto skills. Australian Mark Avard is enjoying great success with the Pacifico Supermoto Suzuki team. Avard is a leading supermoto racer in his native Australia and is a former ISDE rider. Along with Avard is Mark Burkhart, a rider from AMA Pro Racing's hometown of Pickerington. Burkhart was a promising motocross racer before injuries put a damper on his career. He reportedly trains with Larry Pegram at a local Columbus-area kart track. After finishing in the top-ten in each of the first two rounds, he's proven that he's found a new home in supermoto racing.

In the team competition, it's Red Bull HMC KTM Supermoto Racing Team One that holds a strong lead in that category. Troy Lee Designs Honda is second and McAllister Motorsports Honda is in third. Top teams will be awarded a year-end championship bonus, while the individual riders are vying for premium starting positions for the championship finale in Las Vegas on 21 November.

Chris Fillmore, a 16-year-old phenom, is leading the Supermoto Unlimited class. Fillmore, who won the South Boston round came up in motocross, but could be the first American to race supermoto exclusively as a professional. He's leading Superbike and dirt-track journeyman and Red Bull HMC KTM Supermoto Team Two team-mate Larry Pegram.



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