It’s a race that Oakleaf Kawasaki had been looking forward to for a long time. Most of the team’s sponsors hail from the region of Weston-super-Mare and so the inaugural Pro Nationals Motocross Festival in Weston was the perfect place to show off to the sponsors and home fans.

The extremely variable weather delayed qualifying and racing – the qualifying sessions on Saturday saw Ben White qualify 24th in the Small Wheel class, while Tom Hume qualified 18th in the Rookies.

Clubman Dave Anthony qualified third in the Clubman Solo, with Pro riders Priit Ratsep, Shane Carless and Luke Mellows qualifying in third, 16th and 23rd respectively.


White’s first race was tough. After going down twice, the youngster doggedly worked his way forward again and again, ending the race in 27th. In the second race, he improved on that result by staying on, making some passes early in the race and pushing through to 19th place.

The third race was red-flagged and restarted, which suited White just fine. A good start and some smart riding gave him a 19th place on the last lap for a 23rd place overall.

“I really enjoyed the weekend,” commented Ben White. “The atmosphere was amazing and really fun. I had a great weekend with the team. I got 23rd overall, which I’m happy with.”

For Hume, the learning curve continued. As one of the youngest riders in the Rookie class, he held his own well. After finishing his first race in 18th on a very rough track, he then worked even harder to reach the top 15 in the next race on Sunday morning.

A thunderstorm left the track soaked and wet, making things even more challenging; despite this, Hume ended the final race in 18th again for a weekend overall finish in 16th.

“I was a bit nervous coming into the weekend at Weston with all the team there, and I wanted to do my best,” said Tom Hume. “I managed 16th overall which I was happy with, considering I am competing with the top boys that also have a couple of years experience on me. Coming away from it all it’s been a massive confidence boost and it was a really fun weekend.”

Rider Anthony found himself at a displacement disadvantage in the Clubman Solo class, but it did not stop him from not only stopping to bend his bars straight after a crash, but also work his way back to third in his first race.

Anthony then repeated the result twice more with good race starts in his second and third races. The final race started with a holeshot and ended with a win, giving Anthony the overall win on the weekend as well.

“This weekend was a different one for me at the Pro National,” said a pleased Dave Anthony. “Not only was I helping the team, but I also got to race, which was great. As it was a local event, it meant that I had a lot of people come to see me ride.

“I managed to take the overall for the weekend which I am over the moon about. To step up on the top of the box was amazing! I want to thank everyone who came to watch me and cheer me on, it means a lot. Also thanks to my brother Shaun, as if it was not for him I would not have a bike to ride. Also thanks to Matt Bates for putting on a great event, top job!”

In the Pro class, it was a mixed bag of results. Ratsep is a sand master, but even he found himself suffering from sand-induced issues whilst in fifth in the first race.

Problems resolved, he stormed to a seventh place from a middling start in the second race, last minute crash notwithstanding. Completely soaked by the second corner, he plugged away in the third race, finishing sixth for a ninth place on the weekend.

“The overall result this weekend was ruined by a DNF again,” said Priit Ratsep. “That’s been a thing for me in the past few weeks. I have to change that! In the first race I was in fifth until I ruined the clutch; on the really wet sand wasn’t thinking too much about saving the bike, so it bit me, and dragged my overall down to ninth. I’m off to Estonia until the British round in Whitby, so big thanks to Oakleaf Kawasaki and my mechanic Chris for a great job this weekend!

Carless also did not fare well, despite sand being his favourite type of surface. While he was hoping to hit top 10 positions after some good starts, he had a hard time keeping things on track.

The first and much delayed race saw him end in 15th, while he was unable to hit the right groove in the second, restarted, race, ending in a disappointing 18th place. Carless hit his stride in the final race; off the blocks in a good position, he was able to pick off rivals one after the other, crossing the finish line in 11th, the top 10 but yards ahead of him. Overall, Carless finished 13th overall on the weekend.

“I’m not too sure myself about the weekend,” said Shane Carless. “I think it was a terrible weekend for me, 15-18-11 or something like that. I normally love the sand, but I think I overdid my training during the week! My thanks to the team and my mechanic for their continuing support and their hard work, I appreciate it.”

For AMCA contender Mellows, things didn’t go to plan. In the first race, Mellows got underway well, but a crash cost him every advantage and he finished 19th. The second race on Sunday morning was the opposite; here he found himself battling back from a bad start, ending 19th again.

The final race ended before it started; a great start ended in a huge crash that left Mellows pushing a bent bike off the track. Despite that, the two 19th places gave Mellows an 18th place overall.

“I felt I could have bettered my qualifying position by a few places,” says Luke Mellows, adding, “but I knew the races would be more about consistency.

“I’m generally happy with my riding amongst the Pro riders and the tough track. This will only keep me strong for the AMCA championship, and was good practice for my next round at Bevercotes this weekend.”

Team Principal, Shaun Anthony summed up the week for Oakleaf Kawasaki: “From my point of view we had a bad weekend as Shane and Priit were favourites.

“It just didn’t happen, Shane was struggling to hit top 10 positions and Priit struggled with starts, so it made it hard work. Luke was good considering he was running in the Pros, but he had a big crash in the last moto after a good start. Dave rode really well in the Clubmen, he got on the podium, while Tom and Ben both had a solid weekend. It was great to have all the team together.”