After his momentary ‘blip’ at Whitby in June, PAR Honda’s Brad Anderson dished out a big helping of business as usual at round four of the Red Bull Pro Nationals at a sun-kissed Canada Heights in Kent.
Helped in part by a race one mechanical DNF from Boost KTM’s Martin Barr, Ando still looked back to his dominating best and he seemed to be able to pick and choose lines at random as he effortlessly pulled away at the front.
With his team-mate pulling out in the opener, Boost KTM’s Nez Parker stepped up to the plate to take a season-best second for Steve Turner’s orange army. Race two saw GP winner Gert Krestinov come home second but the LPE Kawasaki rider’s sixth place finish in the first moto meant he lost out on an podium finish by one point.
So with Ando taking the overall win, Nez took the second step on the podium thanks to his race two fifth with Lanes Kawasaki’s Alex Snow’s consistent fourth place finishes being enough to secure third overall on the day.
In the MX2 class the unstoppable Elliott Banks-Browne was, well, stopped! With his unblemished record the target for pretty much the entire field, it was Honda’s Neville Bradshaw who finally toppled EBB from the top spot, capitalising on a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes from Elliott.
In fact, the battle between the Honda riders was so fast and furious that the pair of them ended the second race behind Ando and Barr and in front of a whole host of MX1 machines with Mel Pocock next MX2 bike over the line, 26 seconds further behind.
Even with his moto win-streak broken it wasn’t enough to stop EBB taking his fourth overall from four with Nev second and Mel rounding out the podium in third.
Fuchs Silkolene 2 Stroke championship action saw Dublin’s Electraction TM ace Stuart Edmunds clean up with a 1-1-1 card on the Saturday in the Open class, backed up by a 2-1-1 card on a 125 on the Sunday – and that’s on top of contesting the Pro class. Stuey 162ey is the new David ‘Iron Man’ Willet(t).
Stuart’s heroics weren’t enough to wrestle the Open class series lead away from Matt Moffat who carded 2-2-2. Third overall was Jim Davies who despite a crash in practice held it together and walked away with a fifth and two fourths.
In the Open Junior class series leader Jason Martin continued his winning ways and took the overall victory and continued to extend his points lead. Simon Booth had a consistent day with a 5-2-3 finish and Tim Burrows was third with a 3-5-6. Special mention has to go out to Christian Lyth who won two of the three races but a DNF in race two meant that he missed out on the podium and ended up fifth overall.
With Edmunds enjoying a winning day on the eighth-litre screamer as a wildcard, Ryan Houghton nailed the runner-up berth followed by race one winner Luke Remmer. Series leader Jon Pettitt was suffering from a stomach bug but stays at the top of the class thanks to a gutsy third in the final race.
The 125cc Junior class was also on show over the Sunday with Christian Lyth taking the overall from Jake Fry and 14-year-old Chubby Hammond making his first appearance in the class taking third overall.
As well as the first class adult action there was a full programme of Red Bull Elite Youth Cup races which never disappoint.
In the Rookie class Jamie McCanney stormed to two race wins on day one. In the first race he won by the smallest of margins over series leader James Dunn. In race two McCanney bagged another win which was a little more comfortable as he stretched out an 11-second lead over Jordan Divall, a feat he wasn’t able to maintain in the third race as Nathan Watson stormed to the front and built a 14-second lead over Dunn with McCanney rounding out the top three. Another win and a second on day two kept the Manxman on top followed by Watson who moves to the front of the series standings ahead of Dunn.
The Big Wheel class saw its big guns Fraser Viner and Ben Watson trading wins on the Saturday with Viner drawing first blood before Watson fired back with a pair of victories to ensure it was all-square going into Sunday’s two motos.
After picking up where they left off on Sunday it was Fraser who nailed the overall with his final race win earning him the verdict after tying on points with Ben who still leads the series by a whopping 162 points. Matt Callaghan was a consistent rider never placing out of the top five all weekend to secure third overall.
In the Small Wheel class Sid Evans was in a league of his own on Saturday with a clean sweep of race wins although in the last he had to work hard from a difficult start but quickly made his way to second where he had a great battle with Will Keogh. Connor Hughes, a wild card for this event, showed he has what it takes to run with the best riders in his class with a pair of second place finishes and was running in third for much of the last race but a small mistake dropped him back to end up in sixth position.
On the Sunday Sid picked up where he left off and hammered out another two race wins to take over the points lead from Jordan Eccles and Jay Hague. Jay unfortunately had a nasty crash in race three on Saturday which ended in a DNF and a quick trip to the doctors to make sure he was okay. He came fighting back the next day with a ninth and a 23rd to keep him in the title hunt.
The 65cc class saw the usual trio of Alexander Brown, Dylan Woodcock and Harry Kimber fighting it out at the front of the pack on the Saturday. Brown took all three race wins and Woodcock three second place finishes with Harry Kimber taking two thirds and an eighth in the first race.
Alexander then stormed to two further race victories on the Sunday while Dylan was slightly less on form as he took a third and a fourth but cemented his second place overall, moving himself in to third position in the series. Jed Etchells from the Isle of Man had a fantastic day’s racing on the Sunday with two second place finishes giving him third overall on the day and maintaining second place overall in the championship as Brown continues to extend his lead.