AMCA WULFSPORT BRITISH MASTERS (ROUND 1) AT MALLORY PARKPublished on 08.3.2012 12:58
WORDS BY MIKE WOOD
With a bumper entry, some new sponsors on board and changes to the race format, it was time for the very popular AMCA Wulfsport British Masters to open its 2012 series at Mallory Park, Leicestershire on the weekend of March 3rd/4th. And, what a contrast in racing conditions the two days of round one were to produce!! Following a dry Saturday in which the going was ideal, the weather then turned decidedly Wintry as the temperature dropped and rain/sleet fell both overnight and almost continuously during Sunday to leave the circuit extremely heavy but still remarkably raceable!! Indeed that dramatic change was to prove a major examination of both a riders physical and mental strength with most having their first competitive action of the new season. However typical of the great AMCA Masters spirit that prevails, the riders, officials, marshals and medical crews just kept smiling, and remained united in helping to ensure that the round one programme was completed!!
With backing from Battery Energy Drink, for the first time at a Masters event, Pro MX1 and Pro MX2 rubbed shoulders in the same unlimited motos. Leading the muddy charge in moto one was Welshman Ashley Greedy followed by Kristian Whatley, James Cottrell, Scott Elderfield, Matt Burrows, Bryan MacKenzie and Darren Coutts whilst other expected front runners, Gert Krestinov and Neville Bradshaw surprisingly found themselves down in 12th and 19th places respectively!! For the next two laps, Cottrell then splashed his way to the front to replace Greedy before Whatley then quickly became the third different pacesetter. From here onwards, the PAR Honda rider Whatley controlled proceedings all the way to the chequered flag with Cottrell and Coutts in tow. During an incident packed encounter, Bradshaw got back to a superb 4th ahead of Burrows and Krestinov, Greedy dropped to 7th,Elderfield disappeared from proceedings and MacKenzie the 2011 Masters Champion slipped back to 27th before eventually finishing 19th!!
Buoyed by that moto one win, Whatley made a great start in moto two, bagging the holeshot and leading the opening five laps. However, right on his tail this time was a very determined MacKenzie, desperate to make amends for that lowly opening race finishing position. On lap six, Bryan cleverly out-foxed Kristian to take control as Bradshaw now joined the party for the race leadership. In a great three way tussle, the pressure was on to win that £500 prize for the first rider past the post and once again the money was going to Whatley’s back pocket with Bradshaw nicking 2nd from MacKenzie.Just behind the flying front three was an equally intriguing tussle featuring Krestinov, Greedy and Cottrell which raged right to the finish line, the honours going to Krestinov.Completing the top ten in this contest was Burrows, Matthew Moffat, Coutts and Ray Rowson whilst on both occasions,MX2 pilot Sean Frayne was to be the first AMCA rider home, bagging impressive 15th and 20th places.
Testing his endurance to the max, Matthew Moffat also competed in the new Putoline 2-Stroke Masters and eventually went onto earn the overall win. Taking the first victory though of the weekend was Wiltshire HM Plant KTM pilot James Dunn with James Lassu, Daniel Brough, Moffat, Sam Winterburn and Harry Lawerence in tow. In moto two, Moffat then outgunned Dunn before it was all change on that wet second day of action. With Dunn deciding to sit out proceedings and concentrate on his Pro class outings, Sunday’s 2-Stroke moto wins went to Brough and Moffat. Brough’s victory in the mud helped ensure that he would join Moffat on the podium, joined by runner-up Lassu.
Going for a MXY2 title treble, Gloucestershire youngster Dan Thornhill began his campaign in the best style possible by earning the GSP Race Products sponsored event overall verdict at Mallory. In moto one of the weekend though it was Jay Thomas, the 2011 Championship runner-up, who was first past the post with Thornhill a close 2nd as Matthew Callaghan, Chase Neale, Reece Desoer and Dima Fircks completed the top six. In motos two and three, the immaculate Thornhill took both the wins before an eventful final clash! In moto four, twice Dan worked his way to the front only to crash!! So, at the flag the victory belonged to Zac Alsop as Thornhill regained his composure to edge out Desoer for 2nd.Alsop’s last race win also ensured that he would join the podium party!!
Whilst Whatley bagged both Pro class wins, the only other rider to remain unbeaten at Mallory was Jordan Moxey who blasted to a brilliant maximum score in the combined Moto-Pro Suspension Mini-Masters contest. Young Moxey made a mockery of the prevailing conditions throughout the weekend as Charlie Putnam and Oliver Benton proved to be his closest challengers and also earn the remaining BW85CC podium places. Tyron Cleaver, Eddie Remmer and Luke Craig also impressed in this opening round. Over in SW85cc,2011 Champion Henry Siddiqui started the defence of his title with a very impressive performance to finish level on points at the top of the standings with Howard Wainwright. However crucially, young Wainwright bagged the final moto win of the weekend, a result which also ensured that he would lift the first place trophy whilst Matt Brame completed the podium.
What about the Amateur classes then? Well, in an incredible Scott Acerbis MX1 contest, Lewis King started with a lowly 24th spot in moto one but still went onto take the overall win. Following that opener in which victory was secured by Jamie Dobson ahead of Darryl Maxwell, Luke Meredith and Luke Spence, King was to recover in style. After taking 2nd spot behind Glenn Fletcher in moto two, King then splashed to both race wins on the Sunday. Joining a delighted King on the podium was Meredith and Ricky Lethaby, the 2011 Raceworld.com Amateur MX2 Champion. Now sponsored by Zook Clothing, who would take the first honours in the always competitive Amateur MX2 class? Well it was to be Midlands based youngster Jack Cox,a rider who will also be attempting to qualify for the main AMCA MX2 British Championships in 2012.With an impressive 1/2/4/1 scorecard, Cox was the main man in this Zook opener as TM kid Charles Statt and Rocket Centre Honda pilot Ryan Crowder bagged the remaining moto wins. Showing though that consistency is always the motocross keyword, the runners-up slot on the box instead belonged to Edward Briscoe as Lancastrian Crowder had to settle for 3rd.
Once again Michelin have very kindly backed the Masters series, supporting both MX1 and MX2 Amateur classes in 2012.Shaun Scrivens were first past the post in the opening MX1 bash chased by William Orritt, Samuel Kirby, Sam Chapman and Jake Alsop. With Scrivens then having a no-score against his name in the next clash, from here onwards it was to be the Alsop show! Dominating proceedings, Jake bagged a moto win hat-trick to deservedly claim the round one overall from Kirby and Orritt. As for Scrivens, well another no-score in the last moto pushed him back to 15th place in the final standings!! Over in Michelin MX2,Emerson Jones and Adam Wells rather dominated the Mallory proceedings by filling the top two places in all four clashes. Jones(3) and Wells(1) bagged the wins, being finally joined on the podium by Tom Smith who was equally impressive and boasting a 4/3/5/3 record. Also starting their Michelin MX2 title quest with strong performances were Adam Constable, Aidan Wigger and James Milne.
For the lads missing out on the main Amateur classes at Mallory, they were able to enjoy four Non-Qualifiers races, the overall verdict going to Stephen Goodwin ahead of Paul Lloyd and Oliver Claxton. With the Mallory action wrapped up, the AMCA Wulfsport Masters now moves to Culham on Easter Weekend for what is sure to be a feast of highly competitive Pro, Youth and Amateur motocross racing!