A popular Northern Irishman was the surprise of the weekend at round four of the 2013 AMCA Wulfsport British Masters at Hawkstone Park. Despite being in top form and the undoubted rider of the season, Kristian Whatley failed to bag a moto win at the Masters.
In the Battery Energy Pro MX1, MBO Sport Yamaha’s Whatley did finish with a strong 2-2 but superfast Graeme Irwin on the Heads and Threads Suzuki took a richly deserved victory with HM Plant KTM UK youngster, Nathan Watson grabbing third.
Over in Battery Energy Pro MX2, Putoline Honda ace Neville Bradshaw – who recently took his first Maxxis British Motocross Champioship overall win on the same weekend as becoming a dad for the first time – celebrated Father’s Day in style with the overall win from Watson and Maxxis LPE rider Brad Anderson.
Other riders to star during a tough round four were Jack Kelly (Goggle-shop Amateur MX2), Jay Hague (Putoline BW85cc) and Callum Green (Putoline SW85cc) who all conquered Hawkstone in style with unbeaten performances.
Making his intentions perfectly clear, Graeme Irwin led the opening Pro MX1 action as sand ace Nathan Watson crashed in turn two and had it all to do. But by the end of the first lap, young Watson was already up to fifth.
Out in front, Irwin was flying but Whatley turned up the gas to move past Bradshaw and into second with Josh Waterman, Jackson Evans, Brad Anderson and Luke Remmer in the frame.
As the moto developed, Waterman tagged himself onto the front three of Irwin, Whatley and Bradshaw whilst Watson along with the hard charging Matt Moffat continued to make significant progress up the leaderboard and were now locking into combat for fifth, along with Anderson and Evans.
Showing his speed, Watson not only won that tussle but also snatched fourth away from Waterman as Irwin took the moto victory – just over four seconds ahead of Whatley with Bradshaw third and Anderson sixth.
Desperate to make amends in moto two, Whatley made a flying start out of the gate with Irwin, Waterman, Ross Rutherford, Bradshaw and Dorren Coutts giving chase. Two laps in and Bradshaw retired after crashing into a marshall point with thankfully both the official and rider being uninjured.
Charging into the vacant third spot was Watson who had originally gated back in 10th – the battle for the lead was on.
Showing his pace in the sand, Watson took just a further two laps to pass Irwin and Whatley before racing onto a great win, his eventual victory margin being an impressive six seconds.
With Whatley maintaining second from Irwin in third, the battle of the race was for fourth as Maxxis LPE riders Coutts and Anderson locked horns. Starting eighth, Ando moved up to insert heavy pressure on his team-mate in a tussle which went right down to the final corner. After making a strong start in moto two, Waterman eventually dropped to 10th behind Moffat, Ashley Wilde, Daniel Hutchinson and Lewis Tombs.
Pendrich Kawasaki star Bryan MacKenzie was very quick out of the traps in the opening Battery Energy Drink Pro MX2 moto as he led the charge chased by Watson, Bradshaw, Luke Norris, Tombs and Martin Barr.
With Steven Clarke and James Dunn early big name casualties disappearing from proceedings, upfront Watson wasted no time in taking control by passing Bryan Mac on lap three. One circuit later and Bradshaw also found a way past MacKenzie whilst Barrs joined the list of retirements when he was forced out with mechanical gremlins on lap eight.
On completion of this MX2 tussle, Watson had bagged a big win with Bradshaw second, Mackenzie third, Tombs fourth, Brad Anderson fifth, Moffat sixth and Ben Watson seventh. Mackenzie made another lightning getaway in the second Pro MX2 clash and although Bradshaw was soon right on his tail, the flying Scotsman looked in total control of proceedings. With Bryan Mac strong upfront, Barr slotted into third with Nathan Watson a rather distant fourth, Anderson fifth and Tombs sixth.
It was all change on lap seven as leader Mackenzie suffered a very frightening incident when his Kawasaki’s footpeg snapped. Thankfully Bryan was uninjured and despite remounting and touring round to finish the race, his hopes of victory were over.
Upfront, Bradshaw was now in control but he had a very determined Barr rapidly closing him down. Indeed it was to go right down to the wire with Bradshaw keeping Barr behind. Nathan Watson took third whilst Ando – enjoying himself on the little 250F – got home in fourth. Tombs, charging hard claimed fifth with Dunn sixth and Ben Watson finished seventh.
The second surprise of the weekend was the first defeat in Pirelli MX2 for Bradley Wheeler. After 12 straight moto wins Bradley was beaten in the first race of the weekend by a very determined Steve Turvey. From here onwards though and despite the very best efforts of Turvey, Danny Stayte, James Milne and co, the immaculate Wheeler stormed to another three big race wins.
In Pirelli MX1, series leader Shaun Scrivens took yet another overall win, also blasting to three moto victories along the way. Scrivens’ only defeat came in moto two when Welsh lad Adam Cook was first past the flag.
But Cook also picked up a crazy brace of front wheel punctures, which restricted him to sixth overall. Taking the remaining podium spots in Pirelli MX1 were Jason Kendrick and a delighted Jake Thompson.
In a very competitive Muk Junkie Amateur MX1 contest, Passion Racing boss Chad Yarranton proved that consistency is certainly the key word as he took overall success with a 6-2-7-4 scorecard and 166 points total.
Two Stroke rider Matthew Thomas also finished on a 166 total but it was Yarranton who got the verdict courtesy of his better final race placing.
Earlier, eventual third place overall finisher Fraser Wakeford had won the first battle of the weekend before Daniel Hutchinson took control. Hutchinson’s hopes though of another overall win were to be dashed by a moto one DNF. Whilst Luke Meredith took fourth overall, former triple AMCA MX2 Champion Brad O’Leary signalled his comeback with a steady fifth place.
There was no doubt who was the star of the goggle-shop.com Amateur MX2 contest as young Jack Kelly blasted to a brilliant maximum points win. Whilst Kelly starred, series leader Rich Cannings produced another very brave and gutsy performance as he rode with a very painful foot injury – finishing second ahead of Adam Wells, Carl Benjamin, Jacob Joyce and Zac Stealey.
Jamie Ellis(2), Robert Davidson and Liam Knight all won GSP Race Products MXY2 motos. With Davidson then sitting out the Sunday action to concentrate on Pro MX2 competition and Ellis restricted to a sixth place finish in moto one of the weekend, the eventual overall win was to go to Knight. With a scorecard of 2-1-2-2 Knight finished ahead of Reece Desoer, Ben Franklin and Ellis. In the Championship standings Desoer is still inserting heavy pressure on leader Ellis being just 11 points behind.
Proving the popularity of the Masters series, there was separate racing for the BW and SW85cc pilots at Hawkstone Park. Both Putoline supported classes resulted in eventual maximum points winners as Jay Hague topped BW whilst Callum Green was the SW star.
Showing his incredible speed, Hague was again in irresistible form, his only scare coming in the final clash of the weekend. Leading the contest, Jay fell and dropped back to 10th only to then regain control just three laps later.
In the Putoline BW85cc competition, James McFayden, Joe Jefferies, Dee Jay Walker and Lee Perfect were the next best. Over in Putoline SW85cc, Callum Green stormed to four great wins chased home on each occasion by Dylan Woodcock. Also picking up prizes in this class were Harry Kimber, Charlie Cole and Callum Gasson.