Three debutants were to take top honours in this year’s action packed AMCA Weymouth Beach Moto-cross on Sunday, an event promoted by the Purbeck MXC in conjunction with the local Weymouth and Portland Lions Club. 

Travelling from Kent, Darren George took the Juniors overall, local 16 year-old Travis Reynolds topped the Seniors whilst Beach race ace Todd Kellett was the Experts winner. Todd’s victory being particularly spectacular as he passed his Drag’on TEK Yamaha teammate Milko Potisek with the chequered flag insight and on the last lap of moto two!

Despite a very wet start to the day and an unfortunate 2.5 hour delay, Weymouth was still buzzing again on race weekend. And the large crowd which had gathered along the promenade displayed fantastic patience and loyalty during that hold-up in proceedings. Standing firm, they remained in their many vantage points enjoying the unique atmosphere before being eventually rewarded by another thrilling Beach Moto-Cross event.

Before the racing started they also joined in the applause for Purbeck Club stalwart Micky Bishop who recently passed away. Micky had been with the Club since 1984 and was well known as the regular finish line Marshall on Beach Moto-Cross day whilst also being a very accomplished Off-Road racer himself. Once that respect to Micky was completed, another Purbeck legend, Mr Starter himself, Jim Shipton got the Weymouth 2019 action underway with the opening Juniors moto taking centre stage.

Leading the Juniors thunderous charge was Steven Minchin before Craig Morgan and Darryl Ritchings took over at the front. Having a right old tussle, Morgan and Ritchings swapped positions on more than one occasion, then were later joined by Josh Lucy but remarkably neither of those three riders was to claim the eventual win. That honour was to go to Darren George who gated in 4th, dropped down to 6th then really got his act together. On the final lap, George passed both Josh Lucy and Ritchings. So in a class that boasted a totally full entry list, it was to be a moto one victory to George from Lucy, Ritchings, Morgan, Minchin and Morgan Deakin.

Showing that he was already truly dialled into the soft Weymouth sand, George led a shortened Juniors moto two until the final circuit when Jamie Knight came through for the win. In this clash, Minchin, Morgan and Deakin were again in the mix along with Kody Richards, Steven Diment and Harry Allaway. Those results meant that it was George, Knight and Minchin on the podium with George having made a 4 hour journey to Weymouth from Kent being particularly delighted. “I normally go practising at Dunkirk and also compete in some East Kent SSC events. I really enjoyed it here, the event was well organised and the track was good. I will be coming back to race at Weymouth again.” 

Having started the year with a broken ankle, 16 year-old Weymouth resident Travis Reynolds was more than happy with his overall Seniors victory. In moto one though it was Dean Cummings who grabbed the holeshot before being replaced by Oliver Barnes. Meanwhile Reynolds who had gated 4th was quickly on the move, coming through to take control on lap four. Cheered on by his local supporters, Reynolds looked on-course for victory before stalling his Kawasaki’s motor with just 2 laps remaining. Thankfully his engine was soon fired back to life but the win in moto one went to Barnes. For Reynolds it was a very solid and impressive 2nd place chased by Cummings, William Saunders, Brett Rowland and Oliver Macrae.

After going out of moto one on the opening lap, Tallon Leach made amends in the second Seniors clash by leading from start to finish. For most of the contest, Cummings had held 2nd before being pushed back by both Rowland and Reynolds. In this one, Saunders, Nigel Woodman, Leon Read, David Alderton and Barnes also finished strongly. So with a 2/3 scorecard the Weymouth overall success belonged to young Reynolds with Rowland and Cummings completing the top three. Admiring his hard earned victor’s trophy, Reynolds said, “This year I was going to do the British Youth Championship but broke my ankle so my focus is now on getting fully fit for 2020 and probably the MX Nationals. In moto one I did not have a good start then came through to take the lead only to fall and have to kick-start my bike back to power. I also didn’t have the best of starts in moto two but got home in a steady 3rd for the overall. I have already won the Ringwood SSC MX2 Club Championship so it was great to also win here today and in my home town. This was the first year I could compete in the event as I have only just turned 16 but I really enjoyed it.”

Just one week before their opening event in a seven round major French Beach Race series, Drag’on TEK Yamaha riders Todd Kellett and Milko Potisek decided to get in some late race-practice by entering at Weymouth. And, what a super display they were to produce, thrilling the crowd with their high flying, hard-charging, quality antics. In moto one it was French star Potisek who led all the way whilst Kellett did not get off to the best of starts. Quickly though Todd was right on the gas, slotting into 2nd after just two laps before chasing his teammate Potisek all the way to the chequered flag. Such was the pace of the top two that Scott Elderfield, Josh Bentley and Corey Hockey were the only other riders to finish on the same 11 laps completed count. Like Kellett, Phil ‘Factory’ Mercer also did not enjoy the best of starts coming through from an early 26th to bag 11th just behind Tommy Alba, Jordan Lloyd Carter, Henry Siddiqui, Brad Thornhill and Bradley Wheeler.

After failing to score in moto one, James Dodd led the chase in the second Experts moto before being pushed back by Kellett and Potisek who had initially started in 7th. Looking the likely overall victor, Potisek then soared to the front of proceedings on lap 6 but in this one there was to be a stunning conclusion. On the final lap and just metres from the chequered flag, Kellett literally flew past a startled Potisek and thus not only snatch a very late race win but also steal the overall top slot. Having another great ride, Hockey got home in 3rd from Dodd, Elderfield and Bentley. With the usual big smile on his face, Kellett had thoroughly enjoyed his maiden Weymouth event saying, “That was a good experience but I made sure that I took some time to figure out the format and what it was all about! It was so much fun out on that track battling with Milko and it was great to pip him in that moto two, there was so many nice racing lines. We are now ready for the first round of the French Beach Race Championship this weekend which is our main focus along with preparing for Le Touquet in February. We will also be back in the UK for the AMCA Skegness Beach Race.”

 So with the 2019 AMCA Weymouth event complete, all that remained was the award of trophies to the deserved winners and Purbeck Chairman Alf Stearn handing over their annual cheque to the local Weymouth and Portland Lions Club Chairman Mr Ryan Hope. This year Purbeck raised £1,800 from riders entry fees, another fantastic effort by everyone concerned with all monies going to worthy local charities!    

 Mike Wood

The results of the event are below.