Michelin MX Nationals British Championship, Round 6, Cusses Gorse, Salisbury, Wiltshire
The final round of the 2018 MX Nationals series last weekend welcomed a record number of rider entries, some 10 per cent up on last year, the sun shone and the spectators were plentiful.
The recently reworked Cusses Gorse MX track provided a technically challenging circuit, and proved to be popular with the riders.
Three champions – Jason Meara (Expert MX2), Joel Rizzi (MXY1), Ryan Mawhinney (BW85) – were crowned prior to the weekend, with Revo Husqvarna’s young SW65 pilot Ollie Colmer putting in the pace on Saturday to take the title, with two races in hand. The remaining classes, namely, both Pro MX1 and MX2, Expert MX1, Clubman MX1 and MX2 and MXY2 were undecided until the final flag of the season fell.
Just two of the 10 MX Nationals groups saw the same rider win the overall on the day and the championship itself. Aiden Christie in Clubman MX1 and RFX Crescent Suzuki’s Rizzi were the only riders to achieve this; Rizzi also lifted the coveted Michelin Cup trophy and a year’s worth of tyre sponsorship to go with it.
Sunday welcomed a packed grid of Pro MX1 and MX2 riders to Cusses Gorse, which included 2017 Pro MX champ Graeme Irwin (Hitachi ASA KTM) in its mix. Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna) set the fastest time in qualifying with a slim margin of 0.021 seconds ahead of Irwin, with Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda) third. In MX2, Buidbase Honda’s Josh Gilbert went fastest with a gap of 0.882 over Josh Spinks (M Smith KTM) and title-chaser Brad Anderson (Verdesports Substance KTM) rounding out the top three.
Banks-Browne led the opening moto until lap nine. Irwin who span out on the first corner was back in sixth and Nicholls, an uncustomary ninth. Irwin started to pick off the riders and, once past Banks-Browne, controlled the race. Nicholls managed to make his way up to fourth behind Ryan Houghton (Rob Hooper Yamaha) who finished third. In the MX2 class, Anderson had a strong start in third but slipped to eighth at a third race distance, allowing Gilbert to take the class lead and win; posting fifth overall in the race itself. Spinks was the third-placed MX2 rider.
Ahead of the second MX1/2 moto, Nicholls had already won the MX1 title but Irwin showed the rest of the field his rear wheel with a start to finish win. Jake Shipton held second for the first five laps before dropping to his finishing position of fifth. Houghton put in another solid performance to take second, whilst a third place was enough to secure the Pro MX1 championship for Nicholls. Anderson took the last MX2 win of the series on his 2-stroke KTM, winning the overall on the day, but it was 20-year-old Gilbert who claimed the championship title by eight points with his second-place finish in race two. Spinks took another third-in-class and third overall on the day.
So, whilst Irwin won both MX1 motos, it was a determined Nicholls who dug deep and, with his eyes set firmly on winning the championship title, posted fourth and third place finishes; enough to secure the 2018 title for his Buildbase Honda team. Said Nicholls; “It was a pretty good day. In the first race I had a bad start and struggled a little with my bike. To be honest I wasn’t enjoying it and couldn’t relax. I managed to get into fourth, but it was a little bit too late to catch the rest of the guys. In the second race I had another bad start, which was frustrating, but I plugged away and was riding a lot better – I felt way better. Not a bad race, but it was difficult to pass. I’m really, really pleased to win my first-ever national championship and hope it’s the first of many. The championship has been good all season. It has been great to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to another MX Nationals season next year.”
Beaming after his first championship win since he was a youth racer back in 2014, Gilbert said; “I didn’t get amazing start in the first moto. I saw Brad about four places in front of me, and I knew I was holding second in the MX2 group. I held back to start with, just to let things settle down and then saw a few of the 450s get past Brad and so I started to close on him. Once I got by I had to put the hammer down to get away, which is what I did, and gapped him by about 10 seconds. Once I had that, I just brought it home really. I didn’t know what to do in the last race. I caught up with Ando and was thinking about going for the pass. When he made a mistake on a corner, I did pass him but he was right back at me and in front straight away. So I just chilled out and took second as at the end of the day, it’s all about the championship. I’m so happy and this is one of my favourite tracks.”
Commenting on his riders’ success, team manager Dave Thorpe added; “I’m really proud of our team riders Jake, Josh and Callum Green. We’re a British team and so we set out to win on a national level. For the riders, mechanics, everyone involved with the team, and for Honda, these are important wins. It’s a super series. We enjoy it and everyone has fun. It’s been great.”
Elsewhere in the MX Nationals series, the Expert MX2 class had already been won by Northern Ireland’s Jason Meara, but the MX1 category went all the way to the wire, with Richard Bird emerging victorious and a lead of 108 points over Edward Briscoe. Both Clubmen races were determined on Sunday, with Harry Foster taking the MX2 crown ahead of Fabio Rizzi and Aiden Christie just keeping Harry Fletcher at bay with a narrow margin of 13 points in the MX1 group.
In the youth ranks; Callum Green took the MXY2 class title with Denny Rapson in second and Brad Cavill third.
With the conclusion of another successful MX Nationals British Championship season, registrations are now open online for the 2019 series HERE.
Pro MX 1
Race 1; Graeme Irwin, 2. Elliott Banks-Browne, 3. Ryan Houghton, 4. Jake Nicholls, 5. Liam Knight, 6. Gert Krestinov
Race 2; Graeme Irwin, 2. Ryan Houghton, 3. Jake Nicholls, 4. Elliott Banks-Browne, 5. Jake Shipton, 6. Liam Knight
Overall; 1. Graeme Irwin, 2. Ryan Houghton, 3. Elliott Banks-Browne, 4. Jake Nicholls, 5. Liam Knight, 6. Carlton Husband
Championship; 1. Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda) 282, 2. Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna) 253, 3. Ryan Houghton (Rob Hooper Yamaha) 202, 4. Gert Krestinov (Phoenix Tools Honda) 187, 5. Liam Knight (Trevor Pope KTM) 169, 6. Jamie Law (RSS Apico Husqvarna) 139, 7. Carlton Husband (Phoenix Tools Honda) 132, 8. Micky Eccles (Manchester M/Cs Husqvarna) 116, 9. Kristian Whatley (Rob Hooper Yamaha) 112, 10. Matt Burrows (Apico Husqvarna) 109
Race 1; Josh Gilbert, 2. Brad Anderson, 3. Josh Spinks, 4. Lewis Tombs, 5. Brad Todd, 6. Ashton Dickinson
Race 2; Brad Anderson, 2. Josh Gilbert, 3. Josh Spinks, 4. Ashton Dickinson, 5. Lewis Tombs, 6. Jack Brunell
Overall; 1. Brad Anderson, 2. Josh Gilbert, 3. Josh Spinks, 4. Lewis Tombs, 5. Ashton Dickinson, 6. Jack Brunell
Championship; 1. Josh Gilbert (Buildbase Honda) 238, 2. Brad Anderson (Verdesports Substance KTM) 230, 3. Lewis Tombs (Putoline Planet Racing) 195, 4. Taylor Hammal (Trevor Pope KTM) 153, 5. Alexander Brown (Husqvarna) 147, 6. Michael Ellis (ASA P&H KTM) 142, 7. Mel Pocock (Revo Husqvarna 133, 8. Gavin Stevenson (Manchester M/Cs) 121, 9. Brad Todd (JK iFly Yamaha 112), 10. Glenn McCormick (Norman Watt KTM) 102
Race 1; 1. Ryan Crowder, 2. Steve Bixby, 3. Edward Briscoe
Race 2; 1. Ryan Crowder, 2. Luke Smith, 3. Edward Briscoe
Race 3; 1. Ryan Crowder, 2. Richard Bird, 3. Luke Smith
Race 4; 1. Richard Bird, 2. Ryan Crowder, 3. Edward Briscoe
Overall; 1. Ryan Crowder, 2. Edward Briscoe, 3. Steve Bixby
Championship; 1. Richard Bird 447, 2. Edward Briscoe 339, 3. Brad Cavill 330
Race 1; 1. Callum Green, 2. Joel Rizzi, 3. Aaron-Lee Hanson
Race 2; 1. Jamie Wainwright, 2. Charlie Putnam, 3. Ryan McClean
Race 3; 1. Jamie Wainwright, 2. Ben Franklin, 3. Finley ‘Rossi’ Beard
Race 4; 1. Rossi Beard, 2. Jamie Wainwright, 3. Ryan McClean
Overall; 1. Jamie Wainwright, 2. Rossi Beard, 3. Ryan McClean
Championship; 1. Jason Meara 412, Ryan McClean 362, 3. Ben Clark 349
Race 1; 1. Harry Fletcher, 2. Aiden Christie, 3. Joe Roberts
Race 2; 1. Aiden Christie, 2. Harry Fletcher, 3. Ashley Watt
Race 3; 1. Harry Fletcher, 2. Aiden Christie, 3. Joe Roberts
Race 4; 1. Aiden Christie, 2. Joe Roberts, 3. Alex Christopher
Overall; 1. Aiden Christie, 2. Harry Fletcher, 3. Ashley Watt
Championship; 1. Aiden Christie 468, 2. Harry Fletcher 455, Guy Prince 327
Race 1; 1. Jordan Moxey, 2. Brad Thornhill, 3. Fabio Rizzi
Race 2; 1. Alex Hamer, 2. Jordan Moxey, 3. Charlie Razzell
Race 3; 1. Charlie Razzell, 2. Jordan Moxey, 3. Alex Hamer
Race 4; 1. Alex Hamer, 2. Jordan Moxey, 3. Fabio Rizzi
Overall; 1. Jordan Moxey, 2. Alex Hamer, 3. Chrlie Razzell
Championship; 1. Harry Foster 418, 2. Fabio Rizzi 399, 3. Brad Thornhill 360
Race 1; 1. Aaron Lee-Hanson, 2. Denny Rapson, 3. Callum Green
Race 2; 1. Aaron Lee-Hanson, 2. Ryan Alison, 3. Callum Green
Race 3; 1. Kacey Hird, 2. Callum Green, 3. Ryan Alison
Race 4; 1. Aaron Lee-Hanson, 2. Denny Rapson, 3. Kacey Hird
Overall; 1. Aaron Lee-Hanson, 2. Kacey Hird, 3. Denny Rapson
Championship; 1. Callum Green 467, 2. Denny Rapson 432, 3. Brad Cavill 330
Race 1; Joel Rizzi, 2. Bobby Bruce, 3. Sam Price
Race 2; Joel Rizzi, 2. Bobby Bruce, 3. Ollie Beamish
Race 3; 1. Joel Rizzi, 2. Bobby Bruce, 3. Sam Price
Race 4; 1. Joel Rizzi, 2. Sam Price, 3. Louie Kessell
Overall; 1. Joel Rizzi, 2. Sam Price, 3. Bobby Bruce
Championship; 1. Joel Rizzi 542, 2. Bobby Bruce 391, 3. Sam Price 312
Race 1; 1. Charlie Heyman, 2. Sam Atkinson, 3. Trystan Williams
Race 2; 1. Charlie Heyman, 2. Ethan Sills, 3. Sam Atkinson
Race 3; 1. Charlie Heyman, 2. Sam Atkinson, 3. Tyrstan Williams
Race 4; 1. Sam Atkinson, 2. Callum Baldwin, 3. Charlie Heyman
Overall; 1. Charlie Heyman, 2. Sam Atkinson, 3. Ethan Sills
Championship; 1. Ryan Mawhinney 445, 2. Callum Baldwin 364, 3. Jack Grayshon 317
Race 1; Wal Beaney, 2. Ollie Colmer, 3. Tyla Hooley
Race 2; 1. Ollie Colmer, 2. Wal Shane Beaney, 3. Tyla Hooley
Race 3; 1. Wal Beaney, 2. Ollie Colmer, 3. Charlie Reynolds
Race 4; 1. Wal Beaney, 2. Ollie Colmer, 3. Jake Randall
Overall; 1. Wal Beaney, 2. Ollie Colmer, 3. Jake Randall
Championship ; 1. Ollie Colmer 509, 2. Boston Gilbert 385, 3. Charlie Reynolds 357
Images: Elliot Spencer
- Josh Gilbert celebrates MX2 championship win.
- Jake Nicholls en route to winning MX1 title.
- Graeme Irwin and Elliott Banks-Browne get stuck in.
- Brad Anderson won the Pro MX2 overall on the day, but …
- Gilbert took the crown.
- Ryan Crowder won the Expert MX1 overall.
- Richard Bird [centre] took the Expert MX1 championship win.
- Jamie Wainwright #40 leads Expert MX2 start.
- Jason Meara won the Expert MX2 championship at round 5.
- MXY2; Aaron Lee-Hanson took the overall.
- MXY2; Callum Green took the championship.
- RFX Crescent Yamaha’s Joel Rizzi won both the MXY1 championship and the Michelin Cup.
- Rizzi’s team-mate Bobby Bruce was MXY1 runner-up.
- BW85 championship winner Ryan Mawhinney.
- SW85 champ Ollie Colmer.