All eyes are on Norley - MX1 & MX2 Championship
Written by AMCA OFFICE Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00
The heat is now well and truly on as the 2012 AMCA MX Championships races rapidly towards its conclusion. This coming weekend at Norley, the Mid Cheshire MXC host the penultimate round of what is again proving to be another compelling and thrilling series.
Typical of the highly competitive title hunt, just an incredible 2 points separate the top three contenders in MX1 as Lee Payne heads Clinton Barrs and defending Champion Lee Dunham. Over in MX2, Jack Cox in his debut season has been simply superb and currently tops the table, 62 points better off than Paul Neale with Ben Saunders just a single mark further in arrears and holding 3rd.
In the previous outing at the superb Canada Heights, Lee Payne was back to his very rapid best, to bag maximum MX1 points, joined on the podium yet again by Lee Dunham and Clinton Barrs. Indeed the dynamic trio have rather dominated the 2012 series, earning the top three overall placing on the box at each round except the Brookthorpe event when Payne slipped off in both motos one and two! In all four rounds so far completed though, Luke Dean has threatened to break that domination by posting the fastest qualifying time. Surely the Gloucestershire youngster is due to transfer that undoubted speed into race wins and a place at the podium party!
Currently, Dean sits 5th in the Championship table, sandwiched by two very consistent and impressive performers. Round after round Shaun Pearce and Stephen Tillotson are right in the mix and banging on the door, so watch out for the two battling Honda pilots again this weekend at Norley. In his debut Championship campaign, Lewis Belfield on the KTM has also impressed and is occupying 7th in the standings just ahead of Elliot Barrs, Chad Yarranton and Jamie Smith. Other riders who should enjoy the terrain at Norley include Michael Reynolds, Jamie Dobson and Michael Smith.
Having topped the podium during the last three rounds, Jack Cox should be full of confidence as he goes in search of further MX2 glory at Norley. However with 60 points available for each moto win, Jack knows that one disastrous DNF at this stage could let his closest challengers Paul Neale and Ben Saunders right back into the title hunt. You can be also guaranteed that both the fast-starting Neale and the very experienced Saunders, campaigning the little two-stroke KTM have the speed, skill ,determination and belief to take this Championship race right to the final chequered flag of the season!
Currently holding 4th in the standings is reigning MX2 Champion Shane Holmes who will buoyed and ready for Norley after earning consecutive podium placings in the last two rounds at Pontrilas and Canada Heights. Enjoying a very impressive season, young Lancastrian Ryan Crowder has certainly made his mark during 2012 and sits 5th ahead of Carl Benjamin, Sean Frayne, Scott Mathia, Scott Wiliiams and Ryan Jones. The last two tough MX2 rounds have though unfortunately took it's toll with both Benjamin (broken hand) and Mathia (dislocated shoulder) suffering injury and doubtful starters for the crucial Norley clash.
So for the riders it's now time to remain cool, composed and focussed as they attempt to earn a big haul of AMCA Championship points and also one of those crucial Norley podium places? Who will be climbing that box? Well let the action commence where all the answers will soon be resolved!
AMCA MX1 CHAMPIONSHIP(TOP TEN) 1 Lee Payne 619 points, 2 Clinton Barrs 618, 3 Lee Dunham 617, 4 Shaun Pearce 510, 5 Luke Dean 455, 6 Stephen Tillotson 443, 7 Lewis Belfield 438, 8 Elliot Barrs 436, 9 Chad Yarranton 386, 10 Jamie Smith 379.
AMCA MX2 CHAMPIONSHIP(TOP TEN) 1 Jack Cox 630 points, 2 Paul Neale 568, 3 Ben Saunders 567, 4 Shane Holmes 502, 5 Ryan Crowder 492, 6 Carl Benjamin 458, 7 Sean Frayne 444, 8 Scott Mathia 420, 9 Scott Williams 377, 10 Ryan Jones 375.