The gate dropped on the opening round of the much-anticipated Michelin MX Nationals British Championship Saturday. Despite the best efforts of the unseasonal springtime weather, racing did get underway, albeit a shortened set.

Having made an early start, the hundreds of competitors were in the venue and parked up ready for the day ahead. In the face of the weather closing in, and a barrage of the wet stuff, each class scheduled to ride Saturday was able to get one race in before the organising crew called a halt to proceedings in order to salvage the track. With brighter conditions forecast, and a track building onslaught overnight, the running of Sunday’s full programme of racing, including the Fastest 40, is looking more promising.

The Expert MX2 class was first out and, with a good start, Ben Clark took an early lead, which he held for the first four laps. Tom Grimshaw in second, caught and passed Clark for the race win with Jason Meara some 30 seconds back in third. RFX Yamaha’s Henry Williams was seventh off the line and managed to push his way through to fourth but, on the last corner of the last lap, his clutch went on the bike leaving the exhausted lad to push his bike over the line in a points-scoring 16th.

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In Expert MX1, local rider Will Orritt shot off the start line to grab the holeshot and led until around the halfway point. A confident-looking Zac Sealey passed Orritt and took the race win with 15 seconds to spare.

Irish rider Ryan Mawhinney took the Open 85cc win with ease. The big-wheel rider was a good 10 seconds a lap quicker than anyone else, winning the category by over a minute. Joe Brookes was the first small-wheel 85 rider to cross the finish line and Cristina Palmer, flying the flag for the girls, kept it upright to finish 30th out of a start grid of 44.

MX Nationals Preston Docks MXY2 Aaron Patstone 2018
Elliot Spencer

The restarted MXY1/2 group completed six laps of the rapidly-deteriorating track and, in possibly the biggest surprise of the day, the race was won by an MXY2 rider in the form of Rossi Beard. He enjoyed a start to finish win – as did second-placed Joel Rizzi, and third-placed Ryan Thompson. Four of the top six in this joint group were MXY2.

In a closely-fought Clubman MX2 battle, Charlie Razzell kept it pinned to take a start-to-flag win with Henry Foster putting in his fastest lap on lap five to scoop the runners-up slot and Toby Lightbrown in third.

The final race of the day saw the Clubman MX1 guys take to a decidedly muddy and slippery track. The leading trio of Harry Fletcher, Guy Prince and Matt Nash managed to stick in seven laps and finished within 10 seconds of each other. Nash took the holeshot but finished third, whilst Prince started in sixth and made his way through to second.

All riders and organising crew will be looking forward to a better day on Sunday!

Preston Docks Michelin MX Nationals Saturday Results

Expert MX2

  1. Tom Grimshaw
  2. Ben Clark
  3. Jason Meara
  4. Jamie Wainwright
  5. Ryan McClean
  6. Henry Siddiqi

Expert MX1

  1. Zac Sealey
  2. Will Orritt
  3. Scott Elderfield
  4. George Fountain
  5. Charlie Hamlet
  6. Jake Edey

Open 85

  1. Ryan Mawhinney
  2. Jack Grayshon
  3. Buster Hart
  4. Ethan Sills
  5. Sam Atkinson
  6. Harrison McCann

MXY1/MXY2

  1. Rossi Beard MXY2
  2. Joel Rizzi MXY1
  3. Ryan Thompson MXY2
  4. Cailum Mera MXY2
  5. Aaron-Lee Hanson MXY2
  6. Dylan Spenser MXY1

Clubman MX2

  1. Charlie Razzell
  2. Harry Foster
  3. Toby Lightbrown
  4. Adam Pierce
  5. Jamie Bevin
  6. Brad Thornhill

Clubman MX1

  1. Harry Fletcher
  2. Guy Prince
  3. Matt Nash
  4. Aiden Christie
  5. Justin Robinson
  6. Chris Neesan

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