MX Nationals shines through at Canada Heights

MX Nationals shines through at Canada Heights

The Michelin MX Nationals defied the odds last weekend. Over 240 riders signed up for the penultimate round and the team, didn’t just manage to simply run an event but, pulled out all the stops to stage an impressive full set of races on the technically-challenging circuit for its youth, adult and Pro classes.

Sunday was dedicated to the memory of Steven Lenoir, with riders, teams, and spectators joining together on the Kent circuit’s start line for a ‘family photo’, prior to a parade lap in his honour. The sizeable Steven Lenoir trophy was awarded to Pro MX1 winner Jake Nicholls.

Hot, hot, hot was the order of both days for the fifth round of the increasingly popular national series, and the massive investment made in track watering equipment proved to be worthwhile. The riders struggled with the heat and hydration and, except for the Pro classes, the races were shortened slightly. Thankfully though, there were no major incidents. A number of championships were tied up on Sunday, with Jason Meara taking the Expert MX2 title, Joel Rizzi winning the MXY1 class and Ryan Mawhinney cleaning up in the BW85cc group.

2017 MX1 Pro champ Graeme Irwin took advantage of a break in the MXGP schedule to return to the Nationals. He posted the fastest time in morning qualifying, just 1.161 seconds ahead of current series leader Jake Nicholls, with Estonian Gert Krestinov in third. Josh Gilbert went fastest in the MX2 category, followed by Alexander Brown and Martin Barr.

As the racing got underway, it was clear that Nicholls was going all out for both Pro MX1 moto wins. With two start-to-finish wins, he led Elliott Banks-Browne and Irwin to the finish line in the first race, and then Irwin and Gert Krestinov in the second. Said Nicholls; “I had two good starts today and felt strong – not hot or tired. It was so cool, and a great honour, to win the Lenoir Trophy and to have his family at the meeting. It is special and will sit proudly in my house. The whole MX Nationals crew did a great job and it was a thoroughly enjoyable meeting.”

A bad start for Irwin in the opening moto saw him down in 14th but he picked his way through the pack to take third behind Banks-Browne who was away with Nicholls in the early part of the race. A better second race start saw him take off in third, and finish 7.162 seconds behind the Honda rider. “I started badly in the first race but had a good start in the second. I ran wide into the second corner behind Pocock but rode through to second, tried to challenge for the lead, but hit back markers. Gutted as really wanted to win the race for the Lenoir trophy. Enjoyed being back at the Nationals as the guys always put on a good meeting.”

In third overall, Krestinov, was happy to be on the podium; “I had a pretty good day, I think I rode better in the first race but just had a bad start and finished fourth. In the second race I started better but I didn’t find the flow that easy so settled for third. Always good to be on the podium though.”

Taking a second and sixth and securing a minimum placing of second in the Pro MX1 championship, Banks-Browne reckoned he was lucky to be at Canada Heights. “I was actually unsure if I was going to be racing after a crash at a local race a week ago where I fractured a bone in my back and dislocated some fingers. In the first race I got a good start and Jake and I pulled a huge gap in the first six laps, but I landed hard in the rollers and hurt my back – I was pretty much in survival after that. In the second race I crashed on the start and made it really hard for myself. I pulled back to sixth at the end but was in a lot of pain. I’m glad I rode though as I’ve secured second at worst in the championship now.”

Another Fastest 40 rider happy to be at the fifth round was Kristian Whatley who took an eighth and fourth to finish fifth overall on the day. “I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did today, but we changed some settings on the suspension and we’re going in the right direction. It’s helped me massively.

I wasn’t so happy with the first race as I rode a bit tight but, in the second moto, I had a good start and rode my own race – it was like a win for me, the best I’ve ridden all year. I’m still lacking bike time, so I will be doing what I can to get bike fit now.”

In MX2, Gilbert and Mel Pocock each shared a win and second, with the Husqvarna rider taking the last moto win to take the overall on the day. Pocock’s team-mate Barr finished third overall with fifth and third place finishes. “I’ve not won a race at the MX Nationals for a while, so it was really good,” said Pocock. I had a poor start in the first race and had to work my way through a lot of riders to get second in class. In the second I had an amazing start – the best of the year I reckon.” Walking away from Canada Heights with the MX2 championship lead, Gilbert said he felt fast all day, “I felt quick and if it wasn’t for an incident on the first lap of the second moto, I felt I could have won both races. But I always think of the bigger picture and, going into the last round with the lead, is good enough for me.”

The Experts, Clubman and Youth classes all put in a pair of races each on the Saturday. In the Experts MX1, Brad Cavill posted fastest qualifying and then went on to take both class wins, and Jason Meara mirrored those results in Experts MX2. The Clubman groups saw Aiden Christie take pole in MX1, with Harry Fletcher winning both motos – with a margin of 11 seconds in the first – and Fabio Rizzi putting in a storming performance with a first race lead of over 27-seconds.

In the youth classes; the MXY1 riders showed the MXY2 riders the way! Joel Rizzi was dominant in MXY1 with pole, and two wins ahead of Ollie Beamish. Sam Price was third overall in the first moto and Kacey Hird in the second. Hird was the first MXY2 rider in both motos. Ryan Mawhinney was the runaway winner in the Open 85 sector. He cleaned up with fastest qualifying and two BW85 class wins; as did Ollie Colmer in the SW85 group.

Day two witnessed a number of clean scores with MX2’s Meara taking both race wins, as did Fletcher in Clubman MX1, Rizzi in MXY1, Mawhinney in BW85 and Colmer in SW85. There was a change at the top in the Experts MX1 class with Connor Hughes and Luke Smith sharing a win apiece. Colmer’s one-hundred-percent scoring saw him move up to first place in the SW85 championship with a 64-point advantage over Bailey Johnston.

Expert MX2, Meara; “This weekend was very good for me, I was extremely happy with my riding. Unfortunately, my starts were terrible I had to come from behind in the first three motos and actually only took the win on the last lap in two of them. In the final moto I managed to start around eighth but got to the lead early and pulled a 16 second gap then fell off! I managed to pick it up with enough time to spare and bring the win home. My fitness has really shown this year with the hot weather. The track this weekend was phenomenal the MX Nationals crew did a great job fair play to them.”

In the youth ranks, it was a perfect weekend for MXY1’s Rizzi, who didn’t just win his 125cc class but beat the whole field of 250s too; “Really happy to have won all combined class races. It was hot and we all had to work hard. It’s amazing to have tied up the championship.” Over in the smallest capacity group, Colmer too was in celebratory mode; “I was fastest in qualifying, got a decent start and win in race one and then did the same in the second race on Saturday. On the last race of the weekend, two of the big wheel riders collided into me on the first corner and I was ridden over twice! So, I was dead last but didn’t give up and managed to get the win on the last lap. Canada Heights was a track that I have always wanted to ride, and the track was in great condition.” Boston Gilbert also featured highly in the small-wheel class; “I went into this round coming off a big crash the day before, but I wanted to push forward, and it turned out to be my best weekend of racing. Thanks to all.”

The MX Nationals now takes a six-week break before heading south west to Cusses Gorse for the final round of the 2018 season over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of September.

RESULTS

Pro MX1

  1. Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda) 25 + 25 = 50
  2. Graeme Irwin (Hitachi ASA KTM) 20 + 22 = 42
  3. Gert Krestinov (Phoenix Tools Honda) 18 + 20 = 38
  4. Elliot Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna) 22 + 15 = 37
  5. Kristian Whatley (Rob Hooper Yamaha) 13 + 18 = 31
  6. Ryan Houghton (Rob Hooper Yamaha) 14 + 14 = 28
  7. Jamie Law (RSS Apico Husqvarna) 10 + 16 = 26
  8. Dan Thornhill (Cab Screens Honda) 15 + 10 = 25
  9. Matt Burrows (Apico Husqvarna) 11 + 12 = 23
  10. Nathan Dixon (RFX Crescent Yamaha) 9 + 13 = 22

Pro MX2

  1. Mel Pocock (Revo Husqvarna) 22 + 25 = 47
  2. Josh Gilbert (Buildbase Honda) 25 + 22  = 47
  3. Martin Barr (Revo Husqvarna) 16 + 20  = 36
  4. Taylor Hammal (Trevor Pope KTM) 20 + 16 = 36
  5. Lewis Tombs (Putoline Planet Husqvarna) 14 + 18 = 32
  6. Dylan Woodcock (Revo Husqvarna) 11 + 15 = 26
  7. Michael Ellis (ASA P&H KTM) 12 + 13 = 25
  8. Ashton Dickinson (Craig’s Yamaha) 15 + 10 = 25
  9. Brad Anderson (Verdesports Substance KTM) 18 + 7 = 25
  10. Ben Putnam (Yamaha) 10 + 9 = 19

Fly Racing Expert MX1

  1. Connor Hughes (KTM) 22 + 20 + 25 + 22 = 89
  2. Richard Bird (KTM) 20 + 22 + 20 + 20 = 82
  3. Brad Cavill(KTM) 25 + 25 + 18 + 8 = 76
  4. Edward Briscoe (Honda) 18 + 16 + 22 + 13 = 69
  5. Steve Bixby (KTM) 15 + 15 + 15 + 16 = 61
  6. Zac Stealey (Yamaha) 14 + 12 + 16 + 18 = 60

Bell Expert MX2

  1. Jason Meara (KTM) 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100
  2. Charlie Putnam (Yamaha) 16 + 22 + 18 + 22 = 78
  3. Jake Edey (KTM) 22 + 18 + 20 + 14 = 74
  4. Ryan McClean (KTM) 18 + 16 + 16 + 18 = 68
  5. Henry Siddiqi (KTM) 20 + 15 + 16 = 66
  6. Ben Franklin (Husqvarna) 10 + 20 + 14 + 20 = 64

Moto Connection Clubman MX1

  1. Harry Fletcher (KTM) 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100
  2. Scott Bates (KYM) 20 + 18 + 22 + 22 = 82
  3. Aiden Christie (KTM) 22 + 20 + 20 + 18 = 80
  4. Luke Coker (Yamaha) 18 + 22 + 11 + 16 = 67
  5. Matt Nash (KTM) 15 + 14 + 12 + 14 = 55
  6. Piers Skinner (Yamaha) 13 + 10 + 15 + 15 = 53

RFX Clubman MX2

  1. Tallon Aspden (Yamaha) 18 + 18 + 25 + 13 = 74
  2. Richard Roberts (TM) 16 + 16 + 18 + 22 = 72
  3. Ryan King (Kawasaki) 20 + 15 + 20 + 12 = 67
  4. Fabio Rizzi (RFX Crescent Yamaha) 25 + 0 + 22 + 15 = 62
  5. Harry Foster (DCR KTM) 14 + 22 + 0 + 25 = 61
  6. Ben Thomson (KTM) 15 + 9 + 16 + 20 = 60

Talon MXY2 250cc

  1. Kacey Hird (Kawasaki) 25 + 25 + 20 + 20 = 90
  2. Denny Rapson (KTM) 22 + 22 + 22 + 22 = 88
  3. Jake Winnard (Husqvarna) 18 + 18 + 18 + 18 = 72
  4. Callum Green (Honda) 0 + 20 + 25 + 25 = 70
  5. Aaron Patstone (KTM)  20 + 16 + 16 + 16 = 68
  6. Connor Mullian (KTM) 15 + 15 + 15 + 14 = 59

Talon MXY1 125cc

  1. Joel Rizzi (RFX Crescent Yamaha) 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100
  2. Bobby Bruce (RFX Crescent Yamaha) 16 + 20 + 22 + 22 = 80
  3. Sam Price (KTM) 20 + 18 + 20 + 20 = 78
  4. Luke Goodwin (Husqvarna) 18 + 15 + 18 + 18 = 69
  5. Ollie Cole (Husqvarna) 14 + 13 + 15 + 16 = 58
  6. Billy Wilson (KTM) 12 + 14 + 16 + 14 = 56

Gaerne BW 85cc

  1. Ryan Mawhinney (KTM|) 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100
  2. Trystan Williams (KTM) 22  + 22 + 20 + 22 = 86
  3. Callum Baldwin (KTM) 18 + 20 + 22 + 20 = 80
  4. Ethan Sills (KTM) 14 + 15 + 18 + 18 = 65
  5. Harvey Cashmore (KTM) 20 + 16 + 15 + 12 = 63
  6. Thomas Harris (KTM) 15 + 18 + 13 + 15 = 61

Gaerne SW 85cc

  1. Ollie Colmer (Revo Husqvarna) 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100
  2. Arai Elcock (KTM) 20 + 22 + 22 + 18 = 82
  3. Boston Gilbert (Husqvarna) 18 + 20 + 20 + 22 = 80
  4. Charlie Reynolds (KTM) 16 + 18 + 7 + 20 = 61
  5. Ollie Addy  (KTM) 14 + 16 + 14 + 16 = 60
  6. Liam Bennett (KTM) 15 + 14 + 16 + 11 = 56

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

Pro MX1

  1. Jake Nicholls 244, 2. Elliott Banks-Browne 213, 3. Gert Krestinov 160, 4. Ryan Houghton 160, 5. Liam Knight 138, 6. Micky Eccles 116

Pro MX2

1.Josh Gilbert 199, 2. Brad Anderson 183, 3. Lewis Tombs 161, 4. Mel Pocock 133, 5. Taylor Hammal 129, 6. Alexander Brown 127

Expert MX1

  1. Richard Bird 400, 2. Brad Cavill 330, 3. Zac Stealey 277

Expert MX2

  1. Jason Meara 412, 2. Ben Clark 285, 3. Ryan McClean 205

Clubman MX1

  1. Aiden Christie 374, 2. Harry Fletcher 365, 3. Guy Prince 327

Clubman MX2

  1. Harry Foster 377, 2. Fabio Rizzi 344, 3. Dan Thornhill 288

MXY2

1. Callum Green 405, 2. Denny Rapson 354, 3. Aaron-Lee Hanson 328

MXY1

  1. Joel Rizzi 442, 2. Bobby Bruce 312, 3. Ollie Beamish 243

BW85

  1. Ryan Mawhinney 445, 2. Jack Grayshon 317, 3. Callum Baldwin 294

SW85

  1. Ollie Colmer 418, 2. Bailey Johnston 354, 3. Arai Elcock 353