Last Sunday round 3 of the Phoenix Tools Premier Motocross Championship took place at Garlands Moor in Devon which is a really fast flowing track. Rain had fallen overnight and it was a bit dull and drizzly during the day, but never the less there was some good racing to be seen. Championship leader Jordan Booker was in Holland for the GP, so we knew we were going to have a new leader at the end of the day.
In the Expert open Championship it was defending Champion John May on the St Blazey Honda who had set the fastest time in qualifying just a head of Wildcard entry Alex Snow on the Oakleaf Kawasaki. May had the best start in the opening race from Snow, but there were a few fallers at the first corner including Maarten Cremers on the Phoenix Tools Honda and Darren Shears on the PCMP Yamaha who were well back. May was to set off at a tremendous speed and was easing away from Snow who in tall had Luke Hill on the HPR/DirtbikeXpress Honda to hold off, but Mays race was to end on lap 2 when he got his foot caught in a rut and he had torn the ligaments in his Knee. Snow took over at the front and by the end of lap 3 had shaken off Hill, but a man who was really flying was Cremers easing his way up through the field, but on lap 5 disaster struck for Cremers when he took a nasty tumble and landed on his bike, and unfortunately ripped his stomach open on his foot peg and was later air lifted to Hospital. Snow was to go on to take the win with Hill a distant 2nd just holding off Luke Blanchard. In the second moto it was Wayne Shimell on the Tyremarks Honda with the best start from Hill and Snow, May had started the race much to everybody’s surprise, but the pain was too much and he was forced to pull out on the opening lap. Shimell was to give it his all on the opening lap, but on lap 2 he slipped in to neutral on a fast swopping right hander and through went Hill and Snow. Snow was all over Hill on lap 3 and eventually forced his way to the front and from there was soon in to a rhythm and showed his class. There was some really tight racing going on for 3rd mid race between Jake Shipton, Luke Mellows and Jamie Skuse which was to go down to the last lap. Snow was to take the chequered flag with Hill 2nd but all eyes were on the MX-Zone Honda of Skuse who was all over Mellows and Shipton on the last lap and was giving his all on his 250f against the bigger 450’s and Skuse was to pass Mellows on a lefthander then was to take Shipton to claim an excellent 3rd and leading MX2 rider. In the last moto it was a bit of a procession with Snow hitting the front from the off, but there was a good battle on the first couple of laps between Mellows and Skuse with Skuse again taking control and was to ease away, but he wasn’t going to catch Snow who made it 3 wins out of 3 and with Luke Hill coming home in 3rd he now leads the Championship going in to round 4.
In the Over 35 Championship class again this was to produce some really close racing. In the opening race John Lock and Mark Wilde were to glance at each other coming out of the first corner and these two were to power away at the front with Lock taking the lead on the opening lap and from there was untroubled and took the win, but Wilde was put under a lot of pressure from Championship leader Jason Fraser on the Gibbs Performance KTM in the closing stages, but he dug in and held on to take 2nd. In race 2 this time it was Fraser with the best start from Wilde with Keith Hanson there in 3rd, but he was soon under pressure from Lock who was keen as mustard to get pass. Fraser tried to get away art the front, but Wilde was to stick with him like glue and on lap 3 he got pass Fraser and took the lead, but he had to work hard to the chequered flag as Fraser was a close 2nd with Lock 3rd. In the last moto Lock hit the front from the off and was soon in to his rhythm with Wilde and Fraser there in 2nd and 3rd respectively battling it out. Lock was in a real hurry, but then on lap 2 he slowed, he had picked up a rear wheel puncture and eventually retired. Wilde had taken over at the front, but still had Fraser all over him like a rash, ready to pounce on any opportunity which didn’t come until the last lap when Wilde ran a bit wide on a fast lefthander which was to let Fraser through to snatch the win with Wilde 2nd with Hanson taking 3rd.
In the over 40’s class there was a fine display of riding from Justin Hawkins who dominated all 3 races with Paul Ayes finishing with a trio of 2nd’s and John Tarr a trio of 3rd’s. In the over 50’s class it was Tom Lowe who notched up two wins and a 2nd to claim his first overall in the series with Dave Charrett winning the other race and two 2nd’s, but there was a good performance from Steve Palmer who took 3rd overall.
In the Tyremarks Junior A Class the door was wide open again for a new Championship leader as James Buckingham who had been leading was an absentee and at the end of the day it was Ryan Blee who was to top the standings after a hat trick of wins. Ben Butler was to push Blee in the early stages of the races and did nearly win the second moto after leading for most of the race, but Blee was to be patient and chose his moment on the last lap to get pass.
Words and Images by Dave Rich