Round five took Portsmouth MX Club to Grittenham and, as the sun broke through mid-morning, it turned into a scorcher. The track was well ripped in the early stages, but the circuit ended up rough as the sun baked the ground hard. A minute’s silence and a balloon release were held in tribute to Brad Hooper, who sadly passed away three years ago. Thank you to everyone for your respect in honour of Brad.
The Rookies were first out and Lewis King London put himself up front from the off. Lewis took two wins on the day and a second. It was all smiles in the London camp, as he also claimed the ‘Brad Hooper Memorial Award’ for winning the class overall! Callum Allison was the man who grabbed second overall, securing two solid second place finishes and a fifth to assume the runner-up spot. Tommi Davis’ day went from bad to worse, despite flying out the gate and winning moto one. A rear-wheel puncture lost him the lead in race two and an even worse final race cost Tommi a higher position, but third overall is still positive.
The Small Wheel class was out next and it was the super-fast Jak Taylor who stole the motos. Jak had to work his way through the field in race one, but once he reached the front of the pack he was off. Jak secured all three victories on the day. In second place was Charlie Nightingale, who also had to work through the pack in a couple of races. It was a still a solid day for Charlie, going 2-4-2. Fast out the gate for third overall was Oliver Kilgour. Oliver was, unfortunately, unable to maintain his lead with a couple of offs, but a second in race two gifted him the final podium step.
The Juniors were then eager for the gate to drop, reflected by a couple of first-corner crashes. Charlie Richmond was left on the deck in race one and, despite working his way through the field, had to face a DNF due to a broken chain. Also involved in that was Ben Sullivan, coming from last all the way through the field to take two seconds and a win. That granted him the overall on the day. Scott Harris was very consistent pounding lap after lap, hitting his lines every time and claiming second overall. Also caught up in the first-corner mayhem was Kieran Paget, who fought his way back through the field for third overall.
The Auto class was dominated by Jacob Collins, who put on a flawless display of how to ride a 50cc machine to its potential. Jacob had his bike redlining throughout the day as he left his competition behind, only to witness the dust settling as he stormed ahead! Second place was truly anyone’s, but it was Callum Betteridge who snatched the runner-up spot. Third place went to Harley Swain, with a mixed bag of results. This guy secured enough points to assume the final podium step at day’s end.
The premier class was out next and it was the King who grasped the overall. Darren was kept honest all day by second place runner, Howard Standfield. Great racing by these two, who are still super fast for their age. King went 1-1-2, whilst Standfield finished with a 2-2-1 scorecard. Third place overall, Tony Hale, appeared to be shattered after just the start straight in race one, taking an early lay down. A fantastic ride back through the pack left him with a 6-3-3 scorecard and gave him the final step on the podium.
The highly esteemed Neville Bradshaw graced the MX2 class. Bradshaw entertained the crowd on his old-school 125, seemingly playing and pushing his brother-in-law Luke Kennet all day long. Bradshaw went 1-1-1 and Kennet went 2-2-2. Olivier Cook was the best of the rest. Still young and only in his first year of MX2, Olivier is already making a name for himself in the group. A super-solid stack of results gifted him third overall.
MX1 found itself also succumbing to the mercy of a national-level rider. Liam Garland, unable to race at a pro standard due to injury, is now just riding for fun. Super-smooth Liam was untouchable. He produced great speed and style all day. Second went to Ben Harrison. Ben, also on an Evo two-stroke that he built himself, proved that you don’t need a modern machine to be fast! There was some tight racing between him and third place rider, Jake Penny. These two battled hard all day and were separated by just one point; Harrison went 3-4-2 and Penny went 2-3-5.
Last out were the Big Wheels. It was a brilliant day for Thomas Casbeard. Thomas showed some great speed, as only a small mistake in race two stopped him from taking a clean sweep. Jack Milsted took second overall. A cheeky win in race two, accompanied by two solid third-place finishes, gave Jack the runner-up spot. Mr ‘Holeshot’ Tobias Sammut also had a brilliant day. After returning from Italy, he tackled the tough track conditions with ease. A 2-4-2 scorecard gave him third overall on the day.
Hopefully any injured riders heal soon! Again, a massive thank you for the respect and memory of Brad #23!
Words: Lee Bolt | Images: Click466