Last Sunday the Phoenix Tools Premier Motocross Championship resumed with round 4 in the series at Little Silver Moto Parc, Exeter and was to produce yet again some excellent racing in front of a moderate crowd. The track as usual had been prepped and water had to be put down as things were to become a bit dusty as the day progressed.
In the Phoenix Tools Expert Open class there was some really good tussles in all three races which was to produce three different winners, it was Alex Snow on the Phoenix Tools Rocket Honda who had set the fastest time in qualifying, but it was Championship leader Luke Hawkins also on a Rocket Honda who had the best start in the opening race from the St Blazey Husqvarna of John May with Jake Shipton on the Strudwicks/Crescent Racing KTM UK tucked in 3rd just ahead of Snow who was soon pressing. Both Snow and Shipton got the better of May on the opening lap and were closing in on Hawkins. Shipton was breathing all over Hawkins on lap 3 and eventually found away pass, but it wasn’t such a good lap for Snow as he went down when his front wheel went away and his bike stalled and it wouldn’t start which was to end his race. Shipton however was in fast mode at the front and was getting away all the time as was James Dodd on the TwoNineTwo/APS/Factory Touch Honda who was lapping at some speed and was to have a real tussle mid race with May with Dodd eventually getting pass, but he wasn’t going to catch neither Hawkins nor Shipton who took a convincing win. In moto 2 this time it was Dodd with the best start from Snow who was out on his spare bike just a head of May who took Snow on the opening lap, but not the best of starts for race one winner Shipton who got forced wide at the first corner and was right at the back of the field. May was to get the better of Dodd before the end of the opening lap as did Snow and Hawkins who were having there own little battle with Hawkins finding away pass Snow on lap 3, then a lap later was to catch and pass May to take the lead. Snow was also to get pass May mid race, but by this time Hawkins had a fair lead. Shipton meanwhile was powering his way up through the field and was soon to catch and pass May on lap 6 and was in to 3rd, but it was Hawkins who took the chequered flag even though his bike was steaming from Snow with Shipton taking an excellent 3rd after his first corner spill. The last moto had to be red flagged after 9 minutes and it was rerun and this time it was Snow who made the best start from team mate Hawkins who was out on his spare bike after his head gasket had gone on his race bike, Shipton again didn’t have the best of starts and was well down. Jamie Skuse on the Tony Maunders Racing Suzuki was in 3rd, but not for long as he was to go down on lap 2 and up in to 3rd came May who was to have a nail biting battle for several laps with Kelvin Townsend and Dodd. Snow was trying his all at the front to shake off Hawkins who was to stick with him like glue and these two were to power away at some rate, but all eyes were on Dodd who was literally using every inch of the track to get himself up in to 3rd which he did 4 laps from the end, but he wasn’t going to catch the leading two with Snow taking the win with Hawkins a close 2nd which was enough for Hawkins to increase his Championship lead to 71 points over Snow with 6 rounds remaining.
In the Over 35 Championship class there was great drama in the opening race as the Gibbs Performance/St Blazey Yamaha of Championship leader Nick Life had a blistering start up in to the first corner, but he had a bit to much speed and his front wheel washed out and he was to hit the deck, and by the time he remounted he was right at the back of the field, but this didn’t deture Nick as he was soon in to catch up mode. Keith Hanson on the Hansons Garage Honda was the early leader and led for the first lap, but up in to 2nd and soon breathing all over Hanson on lap 2 was now Life who was to take over the lead passing Hanson down one of the steep hills and from there Life eased away to a well earned win. Moto 2 saw Life make no mistakes at the first corner this time with the holeshot and with a clear track he was to notch up yet another win. There was a good battle for 2nd in this one as Hanson had to be on his guard as Jamie Deadman on the Gibbs Performance KTM was all over him for much of the race looking to take 2nd, but in the end Hanson held his nerve to take that 2nd spot. In the last race there was a few fallers at the first corner, but not Life as he stayed well clear and hit the front from the off and was to go on untroubled to make it a hat trick of wins with Hanson also taking 2nd again to make it a hat trick of 2nd place finishes.
In the Over 40 Championship class the battle for the overall took place in all three races, but in the end after some hard tussles with each other it was Chris Brown on the TwoNineTwo/Factory Touch Honda who notched up 2 wins to Steve Locke’s one win on the S J Hodder Honda, where as in the Over 50’s there was a win for Championship leader Mark Gleadhill in the opening race, but a problem with the bike saw Mark miss race 2 which saw Steve Chugg take the chequered flag, but Gleadhill was back for race 3 where he took the win.
In the Tyremarks Junior Championship class there was some of the best racing seen this year in the Championship. In the opening race it was Rocky Letherby on the Hansons Garage Honda who led early before taking a tumble which was to let Olly Jones on the Bob Jones Heating KTM take over the lead, but he was pushed all the way by Championship leader Jack Stevens on the D S C Kawasaki who finished a close 2nd. In the second moto there was no messing from Stevens once he hit the front as he went on to take a comfortable win from Toby Harvey and Rick Hanson who had there own little battle late on. The last moto was the best race of the day with places swopping all the time. Josh Turner led early on before Hanson took over then Jones took the lead 3 laps from the end, but up in to 2nd as they started the last lap was now Stevens and he was soon to pass Jones to take the lead, but Jones fought back and regained it until the whoops section where Stevens took the lead again and literally held on to take the chequered flag to much applause.
Phoenix Tools Expert Open Championship Race 1
1st Jake Shipton (450f Strudwicks/Crescent Racing/KTM UK) 2nd Luke Hawkins (450f Phoenix Tools Rocket Honda) 3rd James Dodd (450f TwoNineTwo/A T Mx/Factory Touch/St Blazey Honda) 4th Jamie Skuse (450f Tony Maunders Racing Suzuki) 5th John May (350f St Blazey Husqvarna 6th Sunny Thompson (450f D S C Kawasaki)
1st Hawkins 2nd Alex Snow (450f Phoenix Tools Rocket Honda) 3rd Shipton 4th Tommy Alba (250 D S C Kawasaki) 5th May 6th Brad Cavill (450f St Blazey Honda)
1st Snow 2nd Hawkins 3rd Dodd 4th Kelvin Townsend (450f Phoenix Tools Rocket Honda) 5th May 6th Luke Mellows (450f Oakleaf Kawasaki)
M D Racing Over 35’s Championship Race 1
1st Nick Life (450f Gibbs Performance/St Blazey Yamaha) 2nd Keith Hanson (450f Hansons Garage Honda) 3rd Stephen Elford (450f Gabriel Insulations Honda) 4th Jamie Deadman (450f Gibbs Performance KTM) 5th James Knatchbull (????) 6th Danny Richards (450f Honda)
1st Life 2nd Hanson 3rd Deadman 4th Elford 5th Richards 6th Rob Lewis (350f Tony Maunders Racing KTM)
1st Life 2nd Hanson 3rd Lewis 4th Knatchbull 5th Martyn Tucker (450f SR75/Molson Suzuki) 6th Elford
M D Racing Over 40’s Championship Race 1
1st Chris Brown (450f TwoNineTwo/Factory Touch Honda) 2nd Steve Locke (450f S J Hodder Honda) 3rd David Ford (350f Projuice KTM) 4th Rich Southcott (500 Honda) 5th Andy Annear (350f St Blazey Husqvarna) 6th Richard Tapscott (250f Honda)
1st Locke 2nd Brown 3rd Ford 4th Southcott 5th Tapscott 6th Andrew Watkins (450f Suzuki)
1st Brown 2nd Locke 3rd Tapscott 4th D Ford 5th Watkins 6th Annear
M D Racing Over 50’s Championship Race 1
1st Mark Gleadhill (450f Honda) 2nd Adrian Toy (150 KTM) 3rd Steve Chugg (450f Honda) 4th Sammy Doble (490 M D Racing Maico) 5th David Lidbetter (350f Ilumina/St Blazey Husqvarna) 6th Michael Simmons (????)
1st Chugg 2nd Toy 3rd Lidbetter 4th Doble 5th Paul Huggett (250f Define Lines Suzuki) 6th Simmons
1st Gleadhill 2nd Chugg 3rd Toy 4th Doble 5th Huggett 6th Lidbetter
Tyremarks Junior Championship Race 1
1st Olly Jones (450f Bob Jones Heating KTM) 2nd Jack Stevens (450f D S C Kawasaki) 3rd Toby Harvey (450f Honda) 4th Jason Brooke (250f Buildbase Racing Honda) 5th Daniel Hartley (????) 6th Lewis Barfoot (450f Yamaha)
1st Stevens 2nd Harvey 3rd Rick Hanson (450f Hansons Garage Suzuki) 4th Alan Pearce (????) 5th Josh Turner (????) 6th Jones
1st Stevens 2nd Jones 3rd Hanson 4th Gareth Artus (????) 5th Bradley Barfoot 6th Pearce
Junior B Race 1
1st Steve Martin 2nd Chester Blair Jnr 3rd Lewis Hunt 4th Richard Grills 5th Daniel Griffin 6th Robin Wilkins
1st Blair Jnr 2nd Martin 3rd Griffin 4th Ben Hooper 5th Jay Lewis 6th Grills
1st Martin 2nd Griffin 3rd Wilkins 4th Curtis Mears 5th Hooper 6th Lewis
Junior C Race 1
1st Jack Cunningham 2nd Luke Dewey 3rd Lee Scriven 4th Luke Wyatt 5th Lloyd Griffiths 6th Tom Matthews
1st Dewey 2nd Cunningham 3rd Stuart Hodder 4th Griffiths 5th Megan Butler 6th Matthews
1st Dewey 2nd Cunningham 3rd Wyatt 4th Butler 5th Scriven 6th Hodder