Team Honda Austria 3rd Overall in 2012 International Austrian Supermoto Championship

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Austrian Supermoto Rider Andreas Simpson Rothbauer said he had the time of his life in finishing third overall this year
Austrian Supermoto Rider Andreas Simpson Rothbauer said he had the time of his life in finishing third overall this year
The 2012 International Austrian Supermoto State Championship began in Burgenland, Austria this year and ended last weekend in Wachauring Melk, which is located in the lower part of Austria, and in between, fans were treated to 14 rounds of thrill packed racing. The throngs of Supermoto enthusiasts continued to grow once more this season, as word spread about the motorsport combining motocross and road racing skills into one exhilarating event. K&N's Team Honda Austria is one of the premier International Supermoto teams, and since their burst onto the scene, they have been one of the teams international fans root for the loudest.

Team Honda Austria (THA), the Honda Manufacture supported Supermoto team, as it's currently known, was formed in 2006. The team consists of International Supermoto stars, Florian "Superflo" Wedenig and Andreas Simpson Rothbauer. After another thoroughly compelling season of competition, the final championship points tally remained undecided until the last round at Wachauring, Melk, where Rothbauer finished the race in 6th and Wedenig finished the last contest in 3rd. And when the curtain was drawn on the 2012 Supermoto season, both K&N Team Honda Austria riders had earned enough points for the bronze medal. In the S1 Class number 99, Rothbauer, finished third overall and number 98, Wedenig, took third in the S Open Class of the International Austrian Supermoto Championship. For 20-year-old Wedenig, it was the best year end results of his young career.

Heavy rain and extreme weather changes presented problems not only with track conditions, but also with finding the correct bike set-up. It's a problem THA had practice overcoming in earlier races during the season, and one that's further complicated when you take into consideration that the races involve slick paved roads, as well as muddy dirt conditions. In 2012 Rothbauer's main focus was to put together a strong come-back of sorts, being that he's been riding with nagging injuries for the past two years. In 2010 he seriously injured his shoulder in a track related mishap and in 2011 he lost part of his season to a knee injury.

Florian "Superflo" Wedenig says he continued to get faster all season long and he's more confident than ever headed into the Austrian Supermoto 2013 season
"The last race weekend was really hard work. I wanted to finish third overall in the season so bad and knew I had to make up at least 6 points," Rothbauer remarked. "Changing weather conditions throughout practice on Saturday made the entire situation even trickier. Then suddenly on Sunday for the race, everything changed again. A lot of fans and friends came to cheer for me at the track. In the first race I had a decent start and by mid-race my toughest competitor in the championship was disqualified due to a technical defect. So all I had to do was race without any mistake, and I had the time of my life this season."

Due to the past injuries Rothbauer's goals for this year were set at a realistic level, finishing in the top-10 was all he was looking to do. Regarding that objective Rothbauer commented, "Top-10 was not that tough a goal and I would not be risking that much. After my injuries the last years I was able to enjoy this last race so much that it is even hard to describe. It was just awesome to party with fans, friends and family."

Rothbauer explains that in beginning of the season he ramped up his motivation into high-gear in order to compete in the Class S1, the strongest international class possible. "Because I would be racing against World Champions such as Uros Nastran, Tomas Travnicek," he explains. "By mid-season I knew I was doing the right thing, because I was able to stay close to the best riders and I earned my first podium, by then it was going smoothly and I just had a great time finishing the season. This is the point that I would like to thank my great sponsor K&N Filters, they have been supporting me for years. I am very thankful to compete on such high level, and I know this is something real special, and that I would not be successful without them!"

Watch for the talented young Wedenig next season, he's seriously hungry for an Austrian Supermoto championship
Watch for the talented young Wedenig next season, he's seriously hungry for an championship
Florian Wedenig comments "The last race weekend was just as hard as it was for Andreas. I was seven points behind my main competitor for second place in the Class S Open Championship. Just as Andreas said, conditions were tricky and I am not that experienced being only 20-years-old. I just did my best and was able to grab the starting position ahead of my main competitor. I also finished both races ahead of him, but in the end it was still only enough for third overall in the end of the year results. Anyways, this was a great season. I was able to become faster throughout the season, and in August I was able to grab my first heat win ever, which I was very happy about. I am more confident than ever now for next year."

"Neither rider has yet signed any contracts or agreements for 2013, contract negotiations will start next week, and both riders are first willing to talk to Honda Austria again to in order to move their partnership forward," said team marketing spokesperson Claudia Rothbauer. All our best wishes go out to Claudia, who wasn't sure she could get through the interview as she is expecting to deliver her baby at any moment.

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