The ScotMX Scottish Championship powered by Milwaukee, has seen some fantastic racing this season so far as they headed to Doune MX track for round three of the series.
With a new format in place for this round, the meeting is spread over two days but this would be done over two weekends. Undaunted by this, the riders turned out in droves to make the most of the prospect of riding one of Scotland’s top tracks.
Doune MX is run by Scott Gardner, former British Motocross Championship rider and owner of Planet Advanced Racing Suspension. The track is normally open Weds/Sat and Saturday would see a fair number of regular riders to Doune MX relish racing their favourite track. The attraction was so strong, some of these riders would be turning out for their first ever MX race, testament to getting great track preparation and the ScotMX format.
The weather turned out to be perfect as overnight rain made for prime track conditions. Scott Gardner had the tracked well prepared in advance and the bright periods of sunshine were not enough to impact the soil. As ever, Stuart Flockhart and his ScotMX team, with the support of his sponsors, pulled off yet another amazing action packed race day. With an extra block of racing to accommodate the one day format, the team would make sure the meeting ran flawlessly. The racing started at 10:30 and ran non-stop through to 17:30 without any break, as twenty three races kept everyone involved busy, but it would be worth the effort.
The Auto’s would kick off and close out the days racing. The track would test the skills of these budding riders and provide some entertaining races.
Having led the previous two rounds Zak Hendry would have his work cut out. Lyall Rutherford grabbed the fastest lap in qualifying and the first AMD hole-shot of the day. He led the first lap until Zak Hendry would pass him but undaunted, Lyall got him back on lap two and stayed in front for the rest of the race much to the joy and relief of his parents who were trackside. Caleb Shearer managed to push through from seventh to third as he battled passed the usual suspects.
Normal service was resumed in Race two as Zak Hendry would lead the pack for the entire race. The top five riders would place without change for the entire race as Tucker Moffat just managed to stay in front of Lyall Rutherford. Caleb Shearer was a lonely figure in fourth as Cole McAuley and Josh Alexander rounded out the top six. Race three would see Josh Alexander fly off the start and bag the AMD hole-shot as the diminutive rider showed his potential but he would slip back to fifth before securing a final fourth.
Lyall Rutherford would maintain his solid riding to finish second as Ivan Williamson had a good race coming from fifth up to third. The final race would be a three lap dash round the track and the racing was frantic as the top six would battle it out for the final placings. With all to play for, Zak Hendry had it sewn up with his third win as Lyall Rutherford had his best result of the series with an overall second. Tucker Moffat secured the final podium. Ivan Williamson’s third and fourth in the last two races meant he had done enough to beat Josh Alexander by two points and he finished fifth. Cole McAuley narrowly missed out on sixth after some solid riding.
Robbie Scott and Malachi Allan would continue where they left off at the last round with Robbie qualifying first, where he finished at Lochgilphead. Although Robbie had the fastest lap in qualifying, it would be Malachi who reigned supreme as his four race wins secured the top spot.
Robbie was a distant second in the first race but would pull within two seconds in the second. With qualifying times placing the next five riders within one second, the third and fourth races were not quite as close but Robbie stayed well ahead of Kyle Graham all day as the plucky Irish lad secured the final podium with three fourths and a final third place to beat Ricky Barrack. Ricky had started off the day with two comfortable thirds before dropping from fourth to sixth in race three. A fifth in race four was not enough to beat the solid riding of Kyle Graham. Hayden Gibson improved in the last two races to place third and fourth and this was enough for the overall fifth narrowly behind Ricky by one point. Ryan Jackson had a comfortable day with the final top sixth position.
There was a real three way battle for the podium as Rhys Whyment’s welcome return to racing after injury would see him mixing it with the very fast Lewis Spratt from Northern Ireland and Jaden Anderson who would push Lewis all day. The first race set the tone for the day as the top three youngsters would swap places until Lewis Spratt would come out on top. His distinctive Yamaha and red race kit stood out as he dropped to third but would push passed Rhys and Jaden for the win.
It was Jaden who blasted out front in the second race with the AMD hole-shot but after he toppled at a tight left hand corner on the second lap, it dropped him to seventh before he was able to charge back to third. Rhys ran into Jaden after he’d fallen but was able to recover quicker and maintain position to finished second.
Lewis Spratt would take the race win getting past Jaden and Rhys but it was not enough for the overall as Rhys showed his pre-season injury has not dented his speed. His two second and two first places gave him a two point win over Lewis Spratt. Jaden Anderson’s last race dash to second was enough to relegate Lewis to second overall as Rhys Whyment would ultimately benefit and Jaden secured enough points for his own podium. Jay Bakers steady riding was enough to secure fourth overall as James Lindsay’s first race after a two year break was only spoiled by a poor result in the second race. His three fourths could only secure the fifth spot but showed he has a lot more to come as he ran with the top three at times. James McGowan’s four seventh places was enough to get him the final top six place.
Jack Fletcher’s qualifying and race times would have potentially placed him in the top three in the Rookies class. It’s no surprise then that he would take the overall with four race wins as he would turn AMD hole-shots into race wins. It wasn’t all quite as easy for Jack though as he did have a first corner crash and end up almost dead last in race three but he stormed through the entire field within a few laps to secure the win.
Troy Flockhart would benefit from mistakes by Ryan McKinney and Benas Blazevicius as his well deserved overall second was made possible by two race second places. Ryan McKinney got caught up in a first corner pile up in one of the races which had him flying through the field to get the single point he needed to beat Benas into fourth overall. Benas did have a second and a third but his two sixth places in the first two races didn’t help his overall. Reilly McKenzie, a Doune regular, was rewarded with consistent riding as he managed to stay ahead of Ryan Haddow who was unlucky not to place higher as he had started the first two races with two thirds but a huge crash in race three put him back to ninth and a first corner crash in the last race only gave him three laps to recover from dead last to sixth. Undaunted by this, he was happy with the final top six place.
There’s always a certain buzz when the rookies line up as their desperation to win is felt by everyone spectating. Qualifying would see five seconds between the top five and only two seconds between the next eight riders. With Ayden Smith posting the fastest lap in qualifying by over a second to Braydon Ferguson, would the local track knowledge be enough to beat the fast Englishman who looked like he meant business. With 37 riders on the line, there would be no shortage of thrills and spills.
The growl from Braydon’s Yamaha sounded menacing as he breezed the first race but he wouldn’t have it so easy the rest of the day. Ayden Smith, no stranger to Doune, would squeeze every ounce of power out of his two stroke KTM to secure race wins in the second and third races as a first corner pile up would demote Braydon down to 26th. He would have to fight through the pack to get to eighth place. Similarly in race three, Braydon would drop to seventh before running behind Lee Cameron for the fourth place.
Ayden had one of his better days as two seconds and two well deserved first places secured the overall by a good margin over Charley Irwin, who’s day got better with each race. Charley had the clean sweep bagging all four top positions with a 3,4,2,1. It was a much better meeting for Lee Cameron as well as he put the disappointment of the last round behind him and got the final podium. Lee had a great second race finishing behind Ayden and he followed it up with a strong third in the third race. Never finishing out of the top four means he got what he deserved. Kyle Peel’s third in the second race was enough to sneak the fourth ahead of Logan Ferguson who had battled all day with Kyle and Marley Nelson for the top 6. Louis McRae managed to spoil Marley’s chances of the top six as he made the final top six with some inspired riding. It was Louis his first ever race meeting and he showed that riding Doune MX weekly for the last few years had paid dividends as he even grabbed an AMD hole-shot, led a race, finished third and the last race and threw some sick whips into the bargain. Braydon cut short his day and missed the final race as he headed back south which meant he wouldn’t would realise the early potential.
The adult support brings out a varied range of talent from young guns to seasoned vets. There were a few top MX1 and MX2 riders from previous rounds that fancied getting in some practice for next week’s race and it would be Tony Craig who would come out on top over the three races.
George Simmutch tried his best to spoil Tony’s day as he grabbed the AMD hole-shots but couldn’t turn them into the overall win as Tony would bide his time and make the pass when it counted. George had to pick himself up after a couple of crashes as did Tony Craig in the second race as he crashed whilst leading and let George gap him as he desperately tried to make it the clean sweep.
Ben Kennedy pushed hard and with two thirds and a second, he was well placed for any mishaps from the fast pair in front of him. Steve Craig continued his solid riding from the last round and three fourths was enough to bag the overall fourth as he dialled in his Honda. Aidan Christie and Adam Slavin would round out the top six as they tried their best to catch Steve. Slavin had the harder task as he battled through the pack from twelfth to sixth in race one. Jack Winthrop made a solid return to racing after his recent battle with Covid meant he has missed out and he will need to get in some bike time to get back to full fitness.
Words and PC – Madmax Media