After nine tough and highly competitive rounds, the final chequered flag as dropped on the 2019 AMCA British Motocross Championship. And at Long Lane, Shropshire on Sunday the new Kings were finally confirmed as Shane Carless (MX1), Jamie Wainwright (MX2), Lewis Dowdeswell (125cc), Jamie Powell (Vets) and Matt Tolley (Youth) enjoyed the spoils of a title success.
Whilst Wainwright, Powell and Tolley got their respective titles in the bag early with opening moto victories, for Carless and Dowdeswell it went right down to the wire and a tense final battle.
Indeed in this much talked about series powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop an incredibly tight 6 points was to finally separate eventual MX1 winner Shane Carless on the FUS Marsh MX Husqvarna and runner-up Neville Bradshaw aboard the DK Offroad-Kawasaki. At Long Lane, although Bradshaw was in simply irresistible form producing three very determined wins, Carless also remained very composed and calculated to ensure that he got the results to see off his rival and take the crown.
In the opener Nev came through from an early 6th place to take control on lap 5 and bag the win. Crucially though Carless was right on his tail, getting home in 2nd despite heavy pressure from Josh Waterman with James Dodd, Zac Stealey, Andrew Smart and Ashley Greedy next up. Despite the focus naturally being on Carless and Bradshaw, it was Greedy who grabbed the moto two holeshot before being pushed back to 6th. With Bradshaw making it win number two, Carless again got 2nd. As per the opener, Shane had been under pressure from Waterman before the Yamaha rider unluckily lost his seat when it became unattached. This meant it was to be a very uncomfortable ride for Josh, forced to coast home for 15th as Dodd closed hard for 3rd just ahead of Stealey and Luke Meredith.
So going into the final MX1 clash of the season it was still Carless leading the charge to the title, 16 points clear of Bradshaw. Needing a 5th place finish or higher, Shane gated just on the edge of that top five before moving up to get home in 3rd behind flying race winner Bradshaw and Dodd. On the Long Lane podium it was Bradshaw, Carless and Dodd with Meredith having his best result of the season in 4th. In the Championship table the title belonged to Carless on 1618 points with Bradshaw 1612, Dodd 1529 and Waterman 1481 next up in what as been a truly outstanding MX1 campaign!
In a 2019 AMCA 125cc Championship duel which as been both compelling and simply thrilling, it was no surprise that just 12 points separated the two top pilots of Lewis Dowdeswell and Chris Povey going into Sunday’s final round! Dowdeswell though was to then increase that advantage as his rival crashed in the early stages of moto one, dropping back to 12th place. At the front, the fast Dowdeswell was controlling proceedings and looking to be on his way to another potentially title charging moto win. However in another stonking 125cc encounter, the glory instead eventually went to Travis Steels who had stormed through from 7th to bag a richly deserved maiden AMCA Championship win. With Dowdeswell earning 54 Championship points for 2nd, a hard charging Povey just failed to pass Nathan Bache in 3rd as Jimmy Margetson, Jordan Ridgway and Ryan Zebedee were next up.
As Margetson took the 125cc moto two win, leading from gate to flag, Dowdeswell and Povey were really going for it in a stunning battle to earn 2nd spot. On the penultimate lap, Dowdeswell then found a way through as first race winner Steels took 4th just ahead of Jordan Wright. After starring in the 125cc opener, Bache painfully went out of this one after jarring his back. This result meant that Dowdeswell had increased his Championship lead to 23 points but he knew that there was still work to do before the title was won!
Giving it his all right to the final chequered flag of the season, FUS Marsh MX Husqvarna pilot Povey took the last moto win of the campaign ahead of Wright, Margetson and Bache. In the early stages, Povey’s chances of snatching a late title victory looked now possibly on with Dowdeswell down in 9th. Showing his class though the FWC Bay Construction KTM ace got up to bag 5th and become the AMCA 2019 Champion, 8 points ahead of Povey, what a simply superb title race this as been! Povey though did gain some consolation by bagging another podium top step at Long Lane joined by Margetson and Dowdeswell. Taking Championship bronze in the 125cc class was Ryan Zebedee, fair reward for a very consistent season.
Having come all the way through the AMCA ranks from Inter-Juniors to Experts, 2019 MX2 Champion Jamie Wainwright (Apex KTM UK) proved to be a very popular victor. Holding a very nice 121 points advantage going into Sunday’s finale, the fast, stylish young Wainwright got the job done early with a moto one win. Gating in 3rd, Jamie led home his main season long contender for the crown, Kristian Whatley, as Ryan Crowder, Bradley Tranter and Matt Ridgway who had grabbed the initial holeshot were the next best.
By his recent high standards, Corie Southwood had a very quiet opening MX2 moto down in 8th before firing back with a superb gate to flag win in the second clash. Proudly displaying the number one plate, the new AMCA MX2 Champion Wainwright chased Southwood home ahead of Luke Dean, Whatley, Tranter, Josh Coleman and Ridgway. The ride of the moto though was produced by Crowder who despite a big crash on turn one and a ripped race-shirt somehow came from last right up to 8th!
With Southwood going out of the final moto in the early stages due to a puncture, Whatley finished his debut AMCA season in style with a gate to flag success aboard his Wulfsport/Meredith Suzuk. Wainwright and Crowder were next up in this one as Coleman won a super tussle for 4th after battling it out with Tranter, enjoying his best round of the series, and Clinton Barrs. Midwest Husqvarna 2T pilots Mark Young and Ridgway were also going for it and hotly disputing 7th. On the podium it was Wainwright from Whatley and Crowder, the same result as the eventual MX2 Championship top three.
In his debut AMCA Veterans campaign, Jamie Powell on the SRH KTM took the opening moto win at Long Lane to also confirm the title win. Earlier in the race, Anthony Bennett then Simon Lane had led the charge before Powell took control. Jamie’s eventual victory margin was 10 seconds as Gary Davies just held off Simon and James Lane in a super scrap for 2nd. After grabbing the holeshot, Anthony Bennett eventually had to settle for 8th as Sean Smith, Darren Bennett and Craig Chamberlain also got through.
Warming up for this weekend’s big bash at Farleigh Castle, Davies gave his old Kawasaki KX500cc mount a run-out and that motor was certainly singing as he scorched to a massive moto two win ahead of Paul Burn and Simon Lane who had to work overtime to just about see off a very determined Smith. For the new Champ this was to be a testing clash, falling on the opening lap and dropping to 23rd he then climbed all the way back to 5th. Unfortunately in this one, James Lane crashed on turn one suffering a leg injury after being run-over!!
Anthony Bennett again got the holeshot in the final Vets clash but there was to be no denying the fast Gary Davies on his flying green machine. This time though 2019 title victor Powell pushed the former multiple AMCA Champion all the way, taking the verdict right down to the wire in a great tussle and just missing out by the very narrowest of margins with Burn 3rd and Simon Lane 4th. Although Shropshire resident Davies topped the Long Lane podium the Championship top three was confirmed as Powell, Lane and Chamberlain, another 2019 Vets class debutant.
Travelling to Long Lane with a massive 152 point advantage, Matt Tolley(IDS/Tolley Jewellers KTM) was just about nailed on to earn a richly deserved AMCA Youth crown. And confirming it in style, Matt struck to take the moto one victory after early leader Jake Randall had made a mistake. With Randall dropping down to 5th, Harry Ridgway, Ezra Blackwell and Reece Leverton all finished ahead of him.
Making amends though Randall then won the second Youth clash in style from gate to flag as the new Champion Tolley got home in 2nd. Once again the usual suspects were in the frame with Ridgway, Leverton, Jake O’Gorman and Yarin Evans all producing classy performances.
Unfortunately for Tolley the campaign was to then have a rather painful end as he crashed heavily in the final Youth clash of 2019. The brave youngster though did still remount to get home in 7th with Randall completing the season by bagging another win from Ridgway and O’Gorman. It was Randall, Ridgway and Tolley on the Long Lane podium with Ridgway also deservedly taking 2nd in the 2019 title standings with Blackwell 3rd.
So with the titles confirmed, the final words on what as been a fantastic season must go to the new Champions starting with MX1 winner Shane Carless. “To win the title means so much especially when you look at the quality of riders I was battling with. Early season there was so many questions to be answered including whether to ride the 350cc or 450cc. I decided to go with the 350cc as I felt so comfortable on it. I have been so lucky this year to have such fantastic people around me with Marsh MX and Mike Keenan giving me everything and so much more, so I really wanted to win it for them. This year I have trained probably even harder than what I did when racing professionally but felt so good, strong and comfortable.
Meanwhile a delighted MX2 Champion Jamie Wainwright said, “What a year it as been on the Apex KTM team with nine rounds of great races and battles. I can’t explain how happy I am to win this title as it’s something my family had been hoping to achieve for several years and a dream come true. The last round was a nervous one but exciting at the same time! I stuck to our race plan and after a great battle with Kristian (Whatley) in the opening moto got the win and the job done, it felt so good! I would like to say a massive thank-you to all my family, friends and sponsors for their continuous support.”
In the 125cc class, winner Lewis Dowdeswell was equally delighted, “ I am over the moon to be the first Champion in the new AMCA 125cc class. I knew right from the off who was likely to be the main contenders and who probably wouldn’t be in the mix. Chris (Povey) was one of the main threats so it was great to get the better of him following our season long battle. This was my first season in the AMCA but thought the series was really good and hope to be back again next year for another go. Previously I had rode in both the Pirelli British Masters and Acerbis Amateur Nationals winning the 125cc class but my win this year in the AMCA felt really special.”
Making his Veterans debut, Jamie Powell took the win at the first attempt saying, “ I have enjoyed the Championship this year and felt really fit so it all went well and I am pleased to get the win. Many thanks to SRH KTM for making it possible and hopefully I will be back in 2020 to defend my title.”
Matt Tolley the Youth Class winner in waiting for the podium celebrations commented, “It’s really good to win but I feel I could have got it done in the previous round at Brookthorpe. I started the season really strongly but have had a bit of bad luck in the last couple of rounds including a big crash in the last moto here today. Next year I am going to be racing a 125cc machine but hopefully I will still compete in the AMCA.”
TO VIEW ALL OF THE IMAGES FROM THIS EVENT GO TO
Mike Wood http://www.offroad-action.co.uk/
The results of the event are below.