With the sun popping up over the Dorset horizon, the Purbeck MXC went to work and complete their construction of the circuit for the 2023 Weymouth Beach Motocross. By the time that sun had settled in position, thousands of spectators were already arriving in readiness for the action that was about to unfold.
Come 12 noon and the practice session, that crowd had swelled even further in numbers, lining the Esplanade and grabbing literally every available vantage point. Once again, this super charity event which is run in conjunction with the local Weymouth and Portland Lions club provided racing for Juniors, Seniors and Expert riders.
So, at 1pm, it was time for the serious action to commence as the Beach race legend Mr Jim Shipton, better known as ‘Mr Starter’ signalled the start of Juniors moto one. Following the thunderous charge of a fantastic 100 strong entry down the beach and around the sweeping opening turn, it was Alfie Irons leading the way. On that first circuit, Irons got a little excited though, stalling his motor but still maintaining control with James Adams, Danny Miller, Chris Johnson, Riley Saunders, Harry Burton and Andy Salt in close company. By lap two, Irons had slipped back to 5th as Adams was the new pacesetter but under intense pressure from a hard charging Saunders. In what was proving to be an unpredictable contest and making it another change in moto leadership, Saunders then hit the front and stayed there for another three laps before a mistake dropped him down the order but the fun was far from being decided! With just two circuits remaining, Adams returned to the pole position and there he remained to bag the first victory of the day with Finley Horn, a Weymouth debutant producing a stunning ride to move from 14th up to a great 2nd following an earlier crash. Completing the top points scoring positions in this frantic opener were Johnson, Irons, Burton, Salt, Lee Johnson, Josh Wilson, Ryan Mabey and Miller whilst early leader Saunders was to finish 11th.
With his bike back on full song following earlier problems during practice, Horn took just a lap to pass Luke Budziszewski in Juniors moto two before racing onto a big win. Horn finished over a minute ahead of Adams who had held 2nd throughout the duration. In this one, Johnson, Josh Wilson, Saunders, Chris Johnson, Miller and Sam Perrin finished on the same seven laps completed total as victor Horn. That second moto victory for Horn also earned the 16-year-old pilot the overall win after being locked on the same 114 points total as Adams.
The Seniors racing at Weymouth also produced a very impressive full entry list and it was to be Oliver Hurst who led the pack in moto one for a couple of laps before dropping down to 9th. At the front it was now Mark Morris (Snr) in control until he was overhauled by Andy Peeble who had started in 10th. Peeble became the leader on lap six showing great composure and determination to then bring it home for victory nearly 14 seconds clear of Oliver Macrae with Morris, Ricky Harrison, Richard Lloyd, Moss Macriner and Thomas Watson next up. Taking 8th in this one was Matt Nash who had endured a very eventful moto. Struggling to fire his machine into life at the mandatory dead engine start, he then crashed on more than one occasion! So, his recovery to haul himself right back inside the top ten was later to prove to be absolutely crucial!
Making a far more productive start in moto two, Matt gated 4th before locking into a battle with Tallon Veale, Finly Abbott the 2022 Juniors class winner at Weymouth and Watson. Three laps in and Nash had hit the front before going onto take the win in a contest which did not run its full distance after a red flag incident. With first moto winner Peedle down in 12th, the top six home in this one had a slightly different appearance and featured Veale, Watson, Jake Gay, Morris and Macrae. That meant a big swing in the potential overall standings propelling Nash to the top on 99 points and proving just how crucial his perseverance in the opening clash was to be! Taking the overall runners-up spot was Macrae with Morris in 3rd.
Having already won twice at Weymouth, James Carpenter was back and looking for an Experts hattrick. And in super style that’s just what he was to achieve, scorching to a couple of classy moto wins. Carpenter’s preparation though for this sand bash had not gone totally to plan having injured his shoulder at the recent Matterley Basin British GP and parted company with the Cabscreens Crescent Yamaha team. Undeterred though he climbed aboard a KTM on Sunday and looked quickly dialled into his mount.
After setting the quickest time in practice, he then led moto one all the way chased home by the always hard-charging Suzuki mounted Tommy Alba. Gating right down in 19th, Chambers Racing Henry Siddiqui had a stormer to get right back to a great 3rd. In what was a frantic and highly entertaining encounter, only Harry Linton and Alfie Calvert also completed the same 14 lap total as the leading three riders. For Linton having campaigned all season on a 125cc 2T before climbing aboard the big 4T KTM, this result must have been especially pleasing. Other riders to impress and giving themselves a chance of later taking home some silverware were Charlie Griffiths, Lee Truman, Aaron Patstone, Simon Booth and Ryan Allen. For one of the expected front runners though this opener did not go quite to plan! After falling on turn one, Phil Mercer worked overtime to haul himself back to 16th.
In super form again and right on the gas, Carpenter then sailed to another start to finish win in moto two as Alba overhauled Siddiqui for 2nd. Right on the pace Linton started last, got up to 16th early on then came through the pack for a brilliant 4th with Griffiths in 5th being the only other rider to complete 14 laps. Once again, the consistent Truman, Calvert and Booth were inside the top ten along with Jamie Smith and Luke Oldfield. So those results meant that remarkably it was to produce a carbon copy of the 2022 Weymouth Experts top three with Carpenter taking the overall from Alba and Siddiqui.
With this being a charity event, Purbeck MXC stalwart Alf Stearn on completion of proceedings handed over a cheque for £1,800 to the local Lions Club before then presenting the hard- earned silverware to the riders. So, another fabulous Weymouth Beach motocross was done but don’t forget the date for the 2024 bash, it’s Sunday, 20th October.
Experts sponsored by Dirtworx Motocross and Enduro
Moto one 1 James Carpenter 2 Tommy Alba 3 Henry Siddiqui 4 Harry Linton 5 Alfie Calvert 6 Charlie Griffiths 7 Lee Truman 8 Aaron Patstone 9 Simon Booth 10 Ryan Allen.
Moto two 1 Carpenter 2 Alba 3 Siddiqui 4 Linton 5 Griffiths 6 Truman 7 Calvert 8 Booth 9 Jamie Smith 10 Luke Oldfield.
Overall 1 Carpenter 120 points 2 Alba 108 3 Siddiqui 100 4 Linton 94 5 Griffiths 88 6 Calvert 86 7 Truman 84 8 Booth 76 9 Smith 70 10 Oldfield 62.
Moto one 1 Ady Peedle 2 Oliver Macrae 3 Mark Morris(snr) 4 Ricky Harrison 5 Richard Lloyd 6 Moss Macriner 7 Thomas Watson 8 Matt Nash 9 Dean Clark 10 Joshua Senter.
Moto two 1 Nash 2 Tallon Veale 3 Watson 4 Jake Gay 5 Morris 6 Macrae 7 Macriner 8 Harrison 9 Finly Abbott 10 Clark.
Overall 1 Nash 99 points 2 Macrae 97 3 Morris 95 4 Watson 91 5 Peedle 91 6 Harrison 86 7 Macriner 84 8 Clark 72 9 Lloyd 71 10 Veale 69.
Juniors sponsored by Caroline Racing
Moto one 1 James Adams 2 Finley Horn 3 Chris Johnson 4 Alfie Irons 5 Harry Burton 6 Andy Salt 7 Lee Johnson 8 Josh Wilson 9 Ryan Mabey 10 Danny Miller.
Moto two 1 Horn 2 Adams 3 Lee Johnson 4 Wilson 5 Riley Saunders 6 Chris Johnson 7 Miller 8 Sam Perrin 9 Harry Burton 10 Terence Marsh.
Overall 1 Horn 114 points 2 Adams 114 3 Chris Johnson 93 4 Lee Johnson 91 5 Wilson 86 6 Burton 82 7 Saunders 78 8 Miller 76 9 Salt 72 10 Irons 65.
Words and Images by Mike Wood
The results of the event are below.