Photo: RAW Motorsports
Can you first introduce yourself to the readers?
I'm Lewis Cornish 23 years old from Norfolk, England. I commission HVAC systems for a living and spend all my spare time on two wheels. I enjoy mountain biking with my girlfriend and riding MX and chilling with my dog Buddy.
When and why did you decide to get into Pro supermoto racing and what do you like so much about it?
I just wish I was full pro, when I race in Asia the grid is full of pro-riders who do nothing but race for a living, this would be fantastic. I started racing when I was 12, my dad Dave raced and was editor of Supermoto Magazine so it was natural I would follow him. I've been racing supermoto ever since, I've won 5 titles at different levels and I just love the speed on the tarmac and the technical dirt sections, its a real test of true rider ability. You don't need the very best bike with all the rider aids to do well as long as you can really ride.
Photo: RAW Motorsports
Can you tell us your plans and goals for the 2016 season?
My priority this season is the French Championship with Raw Motorsports and I'm under no illusions as to how tough this will be. The French have been World champions both individual and team at the SMoN for years and they have great strength in depth so I'm being realistic in what I hope to achieve. If I can have regular top five places and maybe a podium I'll be pleased with these results, I don't know the tracks or most of the riders but I have a good bike and a good team behind me and the Aragon/Mirecourt testing went so well and I'm feeling confident. I'm also competing in the Asia Championships and this year I can score points so I do aim to win this title for Kenny Motorworks. I'm hoping to make Team Great Britain again for the SMoN races, Mettet and anything else I can get the support to do.
What made you decide to focus on the French Supermoto Championship this year instead of the British Championship?
Its been tough financially the last few seasons and now we don't have any financial help at all. After my performances at the 'Nations' in Jesolo last year Steve Pasco from Raw Motorsports offered to help out with logistics in France. So with the amazing chance to race against the very best riders in the world in the toughest championship that enjoys a high profile and prize money it was with some reluctance decided to spend our limited resources to skip the British and compete in France.
What do you think is needed to improve the Supermoto Championship in the UK?
Its being run well now with more riders coming into the GIAG class so this is promising but after racing overseas and seeing how brilliant most tracks are and how many riders and fans turning up I think its the easy UK tracks that are part of the problem. Its also much more expensive to rent circuits in the UK than most countries so this extra cost has to be passed onto the riders. We do have some fast guys here but not enough of them, there's a big difference in speed from the leading three or four and the rest of the pack and also there isn't a Junior class anymore and this doesn't help matters. Its easy to criticise but I know the people involved are doing their best with what resources they have and I'm sure the sport will continue to grow.
What do you think about the situation in the European and World Supermoto Championship?
Its a real disappointment to see such low rider numbers in S1. I know several top riders have retired and without a doubt there is some serious talent coming through from S2 but I don't really know the answer. Of course its expensive to race and reducing costs is a way of getting more entries but this isn't easy and I'm sure the organisers are doing their best. I'm hoping to compete at the GPs sometime this season depending on my Asian commitments.
The national championships are doing good but why is it the World/European Supermoto grid is so low on riders?
Yes, all the French championship classes are over subscribed and the riders have to qualify to make the grade. This means that only the very quickest riders make the S1 Prestige class and so this makes the standard very high. Its similar in the German and Italian championships and with such good racing and organisation at national championships I think the more expensive World/European championships maybe hasn't got the same appeal as it once had.
You are probably the only rider that rides in Championships in Europe, Asia and Australia. How do you make this all possible?
I'm lucky to have support from Kenny Motorworks in Malaysia and also from Bryan and Arron in Australia so I can combined flights etc to make things easier. The Australian championship is decided in a 3 day meeting so this isn't too bad. Raw Motorsports do all the logistics for me in Europe and this is the only way I would be able to compete in France and also Motodroms in Latvia help me with the Baltic championships. It would all be impossible if I didn't have some fantastic support from some great guys.
Maybe the AMA Supermoto Championship could be a next step?
Now I'm older I'd love to go back and race over there. I've raced the non-AMA Stateline National near Vegas and love the dirt sections and American hype that surounds their events. I have been asked to go over and do some training schools over there so this could be worked in with racing if the right offer came along.
How do you see your own future?
I'd love to make a living out of the sport, the traditional next step seems to be road racing but this doesn't interest me.
Who is your biggest example in the Supermoto sport?
When I was younger I'd like to watch Danny Muller race but these days I appreciate seeing the different riding styles from any of the top riders.
Who do you think will be the next big talent in Supermoto, beside yourself of course ;) ?
Laurent Fath looks really impressive as does Reiner Schmitt and Hollbacher. I'm hoping to be having some good races with these guys this year.
Do you have any tips for amateur Supermoto riders that want to become faster?
Try and get out on your bike as much as you can and if you can't practice supermoto any bike time is good, MX, mountain bike, trials, enduro any time in the saddle is worthwhile.
What do you do during the winter to keep fit and prepare yourself for the new season?
I love mountain biking so this is what I mainly do in the winter but before the season kicks of I start practicing MX on my CR but the best training is racing in Asia which I've been doing in December.
Do you ride Motorcycles on the street or do you just keep it on the track?
I used to have a 125 on the street but it was just dangerous, to many idiot car drivers on the road, You can have much more fun on the track anyway.
Big thanks to Lewis and Dave Cornish for this interview. We wish Lewis and his team all the best in the future!