Last Sunday round 4 of the Phoenix Tools Premier Motocross Championship took place at Little Silver Moto Parc, Exeter. Drizzly rain had fallen overnight, but still more water was put down early morning as the forecast was for warm conditions and what a decision it was as the track was soon to dry and more water was needed to be put down prior to the last block of races. Entries as usual were nigh on full and included in the Experts Wildcard entry Alex Rach who had last visited this venue back in 2008 when he took third overall in the British fourstroke Championship.
In the Expert Open Championship there was some really close racing and it was to produce three different winners. It was Kelvin Townsend who had posted the fastest time in Qualifying, but it was Championship leader Luke Hill on the HPR/DirtbikeXpress Honda who was to have the best start in the opening race from Townsend and Jackson Evans on the Phoenix Tools Honda. Hill and Evans and Townsend were to power away at the front with Evans all over Hill straight away looking to get pass, but it wasn’t until lap 3 that he took the lead. Hill was now gradually being caught by Darren Shears on the PCMP Yamaha and Luke Blanchard on the Blanchard Wells Yamaha who had got the better of Townsend and it wasn’t long before this turned in to a real tussle with Blanchard getting pass Shears on lap 7. Evans had a fair lead as they went in to the penultimate lap, but he was to go down on a canvered right hander when his front wheel washed out and through came Blanchard to take the lead as Hill had also gone down on the same lap. Blanchard looked to have this one in the bag, but as they say it’s never over until the Chequered flag, as he dropped it on the last lap and this was to gift the win to Hill with Maarten Cremers coming through to take a close 2nd ahead of Luke Mellows on the Meredith Suzuki who took 3rd. In the second moto it was Blanchard with the best start from Hill and Evans and they were to set off at a tremendous pace with neither one giving an inch until lap 3 when Blanchard made a mistake which dropped him back in to 3rd. Evans was all over Hill on lap 4 desperate to find away pass, but Hill shut the door every time Evans had a go until towards the end of lap 5 when Hill lost traction going out of a lefthander which was all Evans needed to take the lead and from there he was to race away to take the win with Hill taking 2nd and the MX-Zone Honda of Jamie Skuse after a long hard battle with Blanchard taking 3rd. The last race saw Shears with a blistering start from Hill and Cremers who were on a mission in this one and were soon joined by Evans. Shears was to dig in deep on the opening lap and was starting to get away at the front and Cremers was to get pass Hill who now had Evans breathing all over him. Shears was lapping some two seconds quicker than Cremers and by the end of lap 4 he had an eight second lead and was in full control at the front. Evans had managed to get pass Hill on lap 6 and was to close a bit on the leading two, but it was too much to ask as Shears took the win, Cremers 2nd and Evans 3rd.
In the Over 35 Championship class there was also some really fast and furious racing and as with the experts it was to produce three different winners. In the opening race it was Jon Lock on the Albion Kawasaki who had the best start, but a mistake on the second sharp corner put him right at the back and in to the lead was now Keith Hanson who led for the early stages before being put under pressure from the S J Hodder Kawasaki of Mark Wilde who was to take the lead on lap 3 passing Hanson on one of the descents. Wilde was to try and get away from Hanson but it was to no avail as Hanson was ready to pounce on any mistake if Wilde made any which he didn’t and Wilde took the win with Hanson a close 2nd with Colin Butler on the Maunders Racing KTM getting the better of fellow Maunders Racing Honda rider Rob Lewis two laps from the end to take 3rd. In the second race it was a bit of a procession as it was Jon Lock who had the hole shot and he used it to great effect and powered away to take a convincing win with Wilde 2nd and Lewis 3rd. In the last race it was Lock who had the holeshot from Mark Roberts and Lewis. Lock was soon in to a rhythm and was easing away at the front all the time and by the end of the opening lap had a full 2 second lead over Roberts who now had the Gibbs Performance KTM of Jason Fraser all over him in 3rd. Fraser moved up in to 2nd on lap 2 passing Roberts on a right hander and was to set off after Lock who was well gone at the front, but on lap 4 Lock slowed right up, he had a rear wheel puncture and he was soon caught and passed by Fraser who from there on was untroubled and took the win with Lewis coming home in 2nd to take the overall on the day and finishing in 3rd was Butler.
In the Over 40’s class there was a good performance from Kevin Edwards who was to take two wins and a second to give him the overall on the day, but he was denied the hat trick by Paul Ayres who took the other win and in the Over 50’s class there was no stopping Tom Lowe who was to totally dominate all three races with a hat trick of wins, but there was a good tussle between Robin Sanders and Tim Hawkins for 2nd and 3rd in all three races with Hawkins taking 2nd overall on the day by 2 points.
In the Tyremarks Junior a class it was Championship leader Ryan Blee on the Spar/Albion Kawasaki who was to win the opening two races and he looked set for a hat trick of wins as he had the holeshot in the last race , but a nasty kick off a jump on the opening lap saw Ryan catapulted over his handlebars and hurt his hand. Blee did rejoin mid pack, but was in a lot of pain in his hand which was later revealed that he had broken one of his fingers. Ryan Allen who had finished 2nd to Blee in the first two races was to take control of this race and was to take the win and with it the overall on the day.
Phoenix Tools Expert Open Championship
1st Luke Hill (450f HPR/DirtbikeXpress Honda) 2nd Maarten Cremers (450f Phoenix Tools Honda) 3rd Jake Shipton (450f Samsung Yamaha) 4th Darren Shears (450f PCMP Yamaha) 5th Jamie Skuse (250f MX-Zone Honda) 6th Jackson Evans (450f Phoenix Tools Honda)
M D Racing Over 35’s Championship
1st Rob Lewis (450f Maunders Racing Honda) 2nd Jason Fraser (250 Gibbs Performance KTM) 3rd Mark Wilde (450f S J Hodder Kawasaki) 4th Colin Butler (350f Maunders Racing KTM) 5th Keith Hanson (450f Hanson Garage Honda) 6th Jon Lock (450f Albion Kawasaki)
M D Racing Over 40’s Championship
1st Kevin Edwards (450f Albion Honda) 2nd Paul Ayres (450f Yamaha) 3rd David Lidbetter (250f Suzuki) 4th Adrian Retallack (????) 5th Alan Packer (250 Yamaha) 6th Wayne Gill (250f Suzuki)
M D Racing Over 50’s Championship
1st Tom Lowe (250f Honda) 2nd Tim Hawkins (450f Honda) 3rd Robin Sanders (????)
Tyremarks Junior A
1st Ryan Allen (250f KTM) 2nd Ryan Hooper (250 KTM) 3rd Loukas Maggio (250f Phoenix Tools Honda) 4th Jake Owen (450f Maple Scaffolding Honda) 5th Matt Holcombe (250f KTM) 6th Ryan Blee (250f Spar/Albion Kawasaki)
Tyremarks Junior B
1st Morgan Edwards (????) 2nd Daniel Griffin (250f Kawasaki) 3rd Liam Gooding (125 KTM) 4th Shayne Fay (350f Tyremarks KTM) 5th Edward Lewis (144 KTM) 6th Richard Grills (450f Yamaha)
Tyremarks Junior C
1st Rob Millard (????) 2nd Rob Stallard (250f KTM) 3rd Jim Wilcox (450f Suzuki) 4th Stuart Hodder (250f S J Hodder Honda) 5th Joe Youhill (????) 6th Shaun Stowell (????)