The eighth and final round of the ACU British Motocross Championship saw the Wilvo Forkrent KTM team head to FatCat Moto Parc near Doncaster. The deep sandy circuit was going to be a challenging final venue to round off a tough and long season for both riders, Adam Sterry and Jake Nicholls.

Qualifying

Sterry was looking to secure third place in the overall MX2 championship standings from Ben Watson who was trailing by just two points. The day started well with Sterry posting second fastest in qualifying behind championship rival Watson.

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In the MX1 class, Jake Nicholls – who was returning to action following a recent back injury – was looking for a solid day of results to finish a tough, injury ravaged season on a high note. In the morning qualifying session Nicholls struggled a little with arm pump in his first race back – posting 13th fastest.

MX2

In the opening MX2 race Sterry made a good jump out of the gate, but as he went into the second turn he collided with the rear wheel of Watson and the pair went down. Sterry remounted at the back of the field and begun a charge through the pack. As the race progressed he was quickly into the top 10 and continued to move forward.

Absolutely flying, he was the fastest on track as he blitzed his way into fifth place and set about catching James Dunn in the final laps, which he managed to do on the last lap to take an impressive fourth place. With Watson suffering a DNF, Sterry now had a 16 point lead going into race two.

Sterry got tangled up again at the start of race two and ended up off the track re-joining down in 25th and with Watson at the front, he was in danger of throwing away his points advantage.

He quickly set about trying to repeat his first race heroics and flew through the field in the early laps to get all the way up to sixth before he stalled his bike and dropped back down to 13th. Having it all to do again, this time the gap to the front was bigger and the best he could achieve was sixth at the finish. With Watson taking the win he had reduced the deficit by 10 points to set up a nail-biting final race to see who could take the prize.

With a slim six point advantage, Sterry knew he had to finish no lower than third place in the race, should Watson repeat his second race result.

It was set up nicely as Watson took the holeshot with Sterry in fourth. He sat on the tail of Lenoir for the first part of the race before making the pass for third. He showed commendable maturity as he allowed the front two to concentrate on their own race while he set about building a gap on Lenoir, which would secure his position. As the race drew to a close he was able to cruise home in third, securing third place on the day and more importantly third place in the championship.

“Today has been good,” said Sterry. “I came here to get third in the championship and I managed to achieve that so I’m really happy.

“In the first race I had a crash at the start and managed to come from dead last to finish fourth, so I was really happy with my riding. In the second and third races I just rode smart and was able to get the results needed to get third place in the standings.”

MX1

When it was time for the opening MX1 race of the day, Nicholls, making his comeback made a good start and rounded the first corner in fifth place and settled into a good rhythm early on. A couple of small mistakes lost a couple of positions mid-race but just as the race came to a close, Nicholls struggling with arm-pump, slipped back a bit further to ninth at the finish.

In the second MX1 race of the day, Nicholls didn’t make the best of starts and had to push hard early on to get into the top 10 riders. Once inside the top group, Nicholls continued to push hard and moved up to eighth at the finish.

The final MX1 race of the season saw Nicholls once again start inside the top 10 and quickly move up to seventh. He was looking strong as the race started to unfold and made a strong pass on Brad Anderson but on the fourth lap, Nicholls got out of shape before a large jump in front of the finish line and crashed heavily, ending his race and season at that point.

With just two results, Nicholls finished down in a disappointing 11th overall and ended the season 12th in the MX1 class.

“It’s been a tough day to end a tough season on and it’s the story of the last two seasons really,” said a bitterly disappointed Jake Nicholls. “In the first two races I was suffering from arm pump and it was affecting my riding and then in the last race, I was feeling much better when the crash happened.

“Unfortunately I got out of shape prior to the large table-top and crashed heavily, banging my head and hip and that was my race over. It’s a real shame I couldn’t get a better result today and I just want to thank Steve and the whole team for all their hard work over the last two seasons.”

Summing up the race weekend, Team Manager, Steve Turner said: “Wow! That was an eventful finale to the season. Adam was incredibly fast in the first two races. In the first one I was actually shocked by his speed, whilst being excited about the future if he can learn to replicate it on a regular basis. It’s the best performance I have ever seen from him by a long way.

“In the second race he was pretty much the same but stalled when he had got all the way back up to sixth and had to come back again from 13th. In the last race he just did what he had to do to secure third in the championship, which is all you can ask. He was impressive!

“Jake showed his fighting qualities as he fought arm-pump throughout the day. After being off the bike for so long arm-pump was always going to be a factor.

“In the last race he was determined to finish with a bang and was pushing really hard. Only trouble is he literally did finish with a bang as he hit the deck after a big crash over the big table-top before the finish. Luckily he was able to walk away which was a big relief.

“He’s had a really tough couple of years but he has the heart of a lion and is a credit to himself and his family. It’s been a real pleasure to work with him. He just needs some good luck and he’ll be back fighting at the front again.”

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