It went down to the wire at the superbly prepared sandy circuit of FatCat for the final round of the 2015 Maxxis British Motocross Championship, powered by Skye Energy.
Although the MX1 title had been wrapped up at the previous round at Preston Docks, with Shaun Simpson taking the title for the third time. Just about everything else was up for grabs.
And with Steven Dixon, boss of Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki, determined to make sure Steven Lenoir didn’t have it too easy in the absence of his injured rider Max Anstie – the atmosphere was electric.
In one of the closest MX2 races of the season, Dyer & Butler KTM’s Steven Lenoir eventually took third in the opening moto after a titanic battle with Pendrich Kawasaki’s Bryan MacKenzie and Petar Petrov – wildcard entry brought in by Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki.
Petrov took the lead from the start but a fall on the opening lap put him back into sixth position as MacKenzie and Lenoir built up a five second lead.
With impressive pace, Petrov caught the leading duo with four minutes remaining and made a clean pass for the lead.
Meanwhile, Lenoir backed off slightly to take a comfortable third to gain 20 of the 45 points he required to lift his first British title.
The battle for third overall in the series turned in favour of Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Adam Sterry after his close rival Ben Watson (Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM UK) was sidelined after six laps and failed to score any points.
Petrov was doing his best to take points away from Lenoir – coming through to third in the closing stages of moto 2. But by finishing fourth Lenoir moved to within eight points of taking the MX2 crown.
After initially leading the race, Lenoir made a small mistake at one third distance which allowed Watson – the only other British rider outside of Max Anstie to win a moto in MX2 this term – to take a narrow victory of less than two seconds from Apico Husqvarna’s Steven Clarke.
In a cool and calculated ride for moto 3, Lenoir finished sixth to snatch the gold plate from the sidelined Max Anstie.
Taking the lead at the start of the 20 minute plus two lap sprint, Lenoir allowed himself the luxury of letting the fast men pass him on the extremely rough circuit and came home to glory with his entourage awaiting him on the finish line.
Despite Steve Dixon’s team stacking the MX2 deck, the ever consistent Frenchman – who hasn’t won a moto in the British championship this season but still raked in an average of 56 points per round – kept his cool at FatCat.
You can’t help but feel bad for the Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki crew and Max Anstie in particular – racing for his country ultimately cost him the British title. But he’s had an amazing year and he’ll be back in 2016 stronger and faster no doubt about it.
Congratulations to Dyer & Butler KTM and 2015 MX2 British champion Steven Lenoir.
With a display of smooth riding Buildbase Honda Racing’s Kristian Whatley convincingly won the opening MX1 moto by over eight seconds from Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Shaun Simpson who had to fight through traffic after finding himself down in 10th position on the opening lap.
Eventually Simpson came through, but in doing so encountered tough opposition from Toughsheet Honda Racing’s Ashley Wilde and Elliot Banks-Browne (Geartec Suzuki).
The second Buildbase Honda rider, Gert Krestinov put in fast laps at the end of the sprint to finish fifth ahead of Heads & All Threads Suzuki’s Graeme Irwin, Martin Barr (BRT KTM) and spectator favourite, MBO Power ASA Scaffolding Yamaha Racing’s Brad Anderson.
Simpson made amends for his first moto defeat by winning the second MX1 moto from Whatley who found himself bogged down in the pack on the opening lap. Graeme Irwin posted third with LPE Racing Kawasaki’s Tanel Leok just fending off Krestinov and Anderson who were all separated by less than two seconds.
Although Whatley is clearly getting back to his best Simpson still secured the win in the final moto of the season – clinching eight straight overalls for the series.
Whatley came home in second for second overall and fifth in championship. Krestinov took the chequered flag in third, sealing third in the final standings.
Irwin took fourth overall and sixth in the series, ahead of Anderson who finished fourth in the championship.