EDGEWATER’S Sam Clarke has narrowly missed the national supersport championship.
The title came down to the deciding round of the Australian Superbike Championship in Victoria on the weekend, with Troy Guenther crowned the winner by just six points.
Clarke went in to the sixth round as the leader but Callum Spriggs qualified fastest to start the day in pole position, pushing Clarke to the second row.
Heading into the first turn, three riders went down, forcing the race to be red flagged and reduced to 13 laps.
When bikes returned to the grid, Spriggs had the early race lead ahead of Luke Mitchell, Guenther and Clarke in fourth.
With eight laps to go, Spriggs increased his lead to more than two seconds, with Guenther in second place but a late charge at the finish saw Guenther win, Mitchell second and Spriggs third.
Clarke finished in fifth, which meant he was one point behind Guenther for the championship going in to the final race.
After two laps, Spriggs again had the race lead from Clarke who managed to move into second but soon he was pushed back to third with Mitchell making a move in lap four.
Guenther soon passed Clarke and with six laps remaining, he started closing in on Mitchell for second.
But just as quickly as Guenther passed Mitchell, Clarke did also, putting him in third position, with the final lap to decide the championship.
But it all went awry for Clarke in turn 11 when he crashed with the finish line in his sights.
Despite getting to his feet and resuming, Spriggs took the win with Guenther second and Mitchell third, giving Guenther enough points for the crown.
Though Clarke finished the race eighth, he held on to finish as the 2016 runner-up ahead of Mitchell.