With thunderstorms expected to arrive on raceday, it meant that Middlewich MXC, the host club for round 4 of the AMCA British Motocross Championship were faced with a major dilemma regarding track preparation! Should they literally flood the dry, hard surface and then hope the predicted storms fail to materialise or instead get just enough moisture into the ground to control the dust threat whilst hoping for some extra assistance from that big watering can in the sky. Well, thankfully the club got it spot on and went for option one which certainly proved to be the correct choice, being just about sufficient to see the meeting completed with three blocks of racing. The extensive pre-event watering also helped make the track far more technical, creating plenty of monster crazy, deep ruts and offering a whole host of corner entry and exit lines.
Loving the conditions, James Dodd (FUS Marsh Geartec Husqvarna),a rider very much in top form, scorched to Open Class maximum points ahead of his regular rival Henry Williams. The runaway Championship top two did not have things totally their own way though as Will Hughes made them work very hard by leading both the opening couple of moto’s before Mark Roberts also grabbed the final race holeshot. After getting past Hughes in the opener, Dodd then had to chase Williams, eventually snatching a very dramatic win by making a daring pass on the very last corner. Then in a super race two, Hughes was in control for a frantic seven laps before first Williams then eventual winner Dodd came through. The last moto was a little more straight forward as Doddy hit the front early on before clearing off and build a winning margin of some 18 seconds.
Also, from the FUS camp, there’s no stopping that Welsh wizard Shane Carless in MX2 as he bagged another maximum points score. He had a real battle on his hands though in a sizzling moto one clash. Lying 4th early on he worked hard to pass Lee Truman and Jimmy Margetson before chasing after leader McKenzie Marshall. Using all of his vast experience, Shane eventually hit the front just two laps from home and take the win ahead of Marshall, Margetson, Truman, Lewis Hall, Corey Hockey and Rory Jones who had a terrific ride after starting last!
In both motos two and three of MX2, Truman on the CPMX Racing KTM grabbed the holeshot eventually getting home in a fantastic 2nd place on both occasions with Carless taking the wins. Hall, Marshall, Jones, Liam Gale and Jake Preston were also in the mix but spare a thought for Midwest Racing Husqvarna pilot Hockey. With his bike stopping during timed qualification and not having a spare, Corey lying 3rd in the Championship standings was forced to borrow a 125cc machine from his Midwest teammate Will Turner. Despite not having rode an eighth-litre engine for seven years, Corey was still competitive at Warmingham going 6/8 before a tyre blow-out on the opening lap of the final moto! So, on the podium it was Carless, Truman and Marshall and that super result for Truman as also hauled him up into 3rd in the title standings as the unlucky Hockey now drops to 5th.
There’s no stopping Meredith MX Fantic pilot Luke Dean in the AMCA 125cc series at present. Quickly getting past holeshot taker Matt Ridgway and Chris Povey early in moto one, Luke raced onto victory as Nev Bradsahw came up to take 2nd with Povey, Harry Linton, Jack Cox, Charlie Palmer, Yarin Evans and Damon Strydom also in the big points. Having started the season as a potential title winner the season is going a little pear shaped for Damo at present! Following a big crash during the last round at Lower Drayton, he announced on Sunday that he has torn knee ligaments which require surgery at some point during the year!
With Bradshaw leading the second 125cc moto from start to finish, early on Dean was stranded back in 10th. However, showing his class though, the Fantic was on full chat and quickly moving forward, hauling him back to 2nd. Then lap by lap, Luke was closing rapidly on Bradshaw finishing just a couple of bike lengths down at the flag. Also going well again, Povey was strong in 3rd with young Palmer, Linton, Luke Newman, Olly Hathaway and Evans next up. After just missing out in the second clash, Dean was quickly back in the winning habit for the final moto as Bradshaw this time elected to bring out his EVO Honda CR125cc bike for a run. Despite those injuries already mentioned, Strydom put a second moto mechanical issue behind him by having his best result of the day in the last clash taking 3rd and even beating his FUS teammate Povey!
Shane Jones is a rider very much in top form at present and aboard his Apex GasGas UK machine he scorched to another classy maximum score during Sunday’s Youth 125cc racing. In the opening moto though Tom Goodfellow was quickest away leading for three laps before Jones came through and thus take victory with Wyatt McGregor going from 14th up to a great 2nd despite racing with a damaged shoulder. With early leader Goodfellow having to settle for 3rd, Jack Evans, Phillip Tchorek, Will Turner and Aston Phillips were also right in the mix. As Jones proved to be again victorious with a start to finish success in moto two, the lively Logan Jay Powell was runner-up.
In last Youth 125cc clash, Jones, Goodfellow, Tchorek, Powell and Turner were really going for it early on until Powell fell and dropped back to 7th. With Jones then racing onto victory number three, the injured McGregor was to produce another heroic ride climbing from 8th up to 2nd. So, on the podium it was Jones, McGregor and Evans whilst in the Championship standings Jones has taken over at the top!
In the BWMA Woman’s class it was another overall win for Marni Saunders on the 250F Kawasaki ahead of Hollie Roberts and Hannah Jones. In moto one Marni, Hannah, Caitlin Newman, Hollie and Millie Sweeney filled positions 11th to 15th respectively. Hollie was then top Woman in the second clash of the day in a super 11th as Grace Bates in 13th was the next best just ahead of Marni. After gating 11th in the final moto, Marni then maintained that position throughout just ahead of Hollie and Grace with Caitlin (15th), Hannah (16th), Amber McGregor (17th), Autumn Jenkinson (18th) and Abbie Piggott (19th) next. So, in the title standings after three rounds completed, Marni is leading the way on 524 points with Caitlin on 489 and Hannah 465.
Although Oakley Kettle took the Youth 85cc overall win from George Clark and Toby Adamson, it’s fair to say that Leah-Rees Evans, Checoby Rainey and Holly Williams were the real Sunday stars in this class! Leah went a terrific 9/5/4, Checoby 8/9/6 and Holly 7/7/11. In the last moto, Checoby was holding a superb 3rd early on and really giving the boy’s something to think about before Leah then took up the challenge. For the lads, Arthur Moore won moto one before a DNF in the second clash ruined his chances of figuring in the overall reckonings. So, in what was an entertaining 85cc competition, Oakley Kettle after winning both motos two and three was top pilot for the lads whilst Leah was the first girl home ahead of Holly and Checoby. In the Championship table, Oakley as also soared to the top of the Youth 85cc table with Holly topping the girls title chase and Ryan Jackson heading the SW85cc lad’s battle.
In what proved to a dramatic opening Vets race, both Simon and James Lane fell in turn one as Clint Mears led the way. Undeterred though the Lane brothers stormed back although James did fall twice again and in the same corner! Meanwhile with Mears losing his advantage when stalling, Simon now hit the front but regaining his composure and rhtythm, James was on a serious charge and soon on his elder brother’s tail! And, with just 2 laps remaining, James’s comeback was complete as he hit the front for victory as Matt Ryder took 3rd from Adam Wilkinson, Richard Meakin and David Wilcox. With Simon then leading moto two all the way, it set up an exciting last race decider for the Warmingham overall verdict. In that one, Simon led early on but James was to hit the front on lap three and there he remained. Despite a break from the sport, Meakin has quickly got back on the pace and in the groove taking another great 3rd and a deserved place on the podium. In the title race it’s getting tight at the top as Simon leads James by just 11 points whilst Ryder is rather more comfortable in the Vets Over50 class, controlling proceedings and currently 47 points clear of Brian Staples.
Words and Images by Mike Wood
The results of the event are below.