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Race Report: Birmingham Arenacross

Fabien Izoird continued to establish his dominance in the Garmin Arenacross series at the third round, held at the LG Arena, last night. Many fans flocked to Birmingham hoping to see some fast-paced, aggressive racing. Fortunately, the action didn’t disappoint at all!

The Frenchman [Izoird] started his night in the best possible way, as he took the win in a dominant fashion in heat one. It was immediately apparent that Izoird was the favourite for the victory, as he was the only rider that dropped down into the twenty-six second bracket in that race. Although that may not seem like too big a deal, there were not a lot of places on-track where the riders could make up time on each other. Daniel McCoy took the second heat win, but Loic Rombaut was right behind him for the duration, which made things tough on the Aussie.

The Garmin Arenacross series has four pro heats during the night show, and the riders compete in two of those. Then, their results are combined and the top ten transfer to the main. Despite the fact that he had a slower lap time than his teammate, Loic Rombaut won the third heat from Fabien Izoird. Steven Clarke was up front in both of his heats. But, the Dyer and Butler KTM rider crashed in both of them, which forced him to the LCQ. Kristian Whatley was dominant in the fourth, and final, heat, as he took the holeshot and gapped the field immediately.

Brad Anderson led the LCQ early on, but Clarke found a way around relatively quickly, and took an unchallenged win. Brad held on for second, the final transfer spot. Tyler Villopoto, James Harrison, Luke Arbon and Jason Dougan were some of the biggest names that didn’t make it to the points paying main event.

When the gate dropped in the pro main event, Daniel McCoy took the holeshot, which really was not too surprising at all – the MBO Sport Yamaha’s were hooking up out of the gate all night. Fabien Izoird started second, and immediately started to show the Australian a wheel in each turn. Eventually Izoird did make the move with an aggressive pass, and went on to take a convincing victory. McCoy held on for second, ahead of his teammate, Kristian Whatley. Whatley started the main in third, and stayed there; he managed to establish a gap over the riders behind him, and stay consistent throughout the race.

Although he was very fast all night long, Cyrille Coulon had a quiet time out on-track – he was certainly under the radar. But, despite this, he finished fourth in the main event, and acquired some good points. Loic Rombaut was actually a bit disappointing in the main, as he ended fifth. The Frenchman was very fast all-night long, but he struggled to cut through the field after a mediocre start. Romain Biela, Angelo Pellegrini, Neville Bradshaw, Steven Clarke and Brad Anderson rounded out the top ten.

The various youth classes put on a great show for the fans, as per usual, as the action was fiery from the up and coming stars. Todd Kellett took a convincing win in the Rookie class. Although Kellett did not start inside of the top three, he immediately made passes and ended up passing early leader Jay Thomas after a few laps with an aggressive (but not dirty) move. Thomas held on for second, which was a great finish for him, especially when you consider his wheel collapsed in qualifying – he really turned his day around!

Marcus Phelps took the holeshot in the Big Wheel 85 main event, but lost the lead to Aaron Booker. However Booker went down, which handed the lead back to Phelps. Supposedly, the dirt in the LG Arena was very similar to what Marcus rides on at home in South Africa, so it is not too surprising that he claimed the main event victory. Harry Kimber had another great ride, and finished second. Harry actually crashed with Aaron Booker on the final lap following the whoops, but he got up quicker than Booker, so he was able to still take the runner up spot.

In the Small Wheel 85 main, Adam Collings took a convincing holeshot, but it was not long before George Sim-Mutch took the lead – he never looked back after that. The Passion Racing Kawasaki rider went on to take a dominant win from Ryan Thompson and Adam Collings. Collings stole third from Ryan Mundell on the final lap, in the whoops, which is obviously a very difficult part of the track for those guys. Trystan Williams won the 65 main event, from Jack Lindsay and Callum McCaul. But, all of those riders deserve props for getting around the track. It is obviously very tough on them, and their bikes.

So, there you have it, a look at everything that went on at round three of the 2014 Garmin Arenacross series. Fabien Izoird now leads the pro series by fourteen points over Daniel McCoy. At the moment, it is going to be tough for anyone to catch the flying Frenchman. However, in Arenacross, anything can happen.

Words: Lewis Phillips

Image: Kev Reid

MX Vice Editor || 25

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