Round two of the Apico BSMA Nationals moved on to the former British Championship track on the Welsh border in sight of the SAS training ground at Hereford, Pontrilas.
An uncharacteristically dry clay track awaited the riders on Saturday morning after the forecast rain didn’t appear, although a frantic watering managed to keep it rideable.
Sunday’s track was again in prime condition as the MX1 and MX2 riders kicked off the action.
Adam Harris was making sweet music from the pipe of his two-stroke out at the head of the MX1 pack, chased by Harry Linton on his new 350 KTM, who wasn’t quite able to reel in the leader.
Fastest lap went to MX2 rider Jack Timms on, as he took the class win from Carl Haycock.
Daz Webster looked to be getting to grips with the big 450 Yam in the first MX1 race.
Reegan Skinner got out of the gate quick in heat two and kept Harris honest while Linton came through from a poor start to grab third not to far in front of Webster.
Timms took another convincing MX2 win while Haycock had his hands full of with Jake Ford as the pair crossed the line with less than half-a-second between them.
Sunday had the addition of wildcard, Dominic Lancett, showing the championship regulars the way round and Linton got the better of Harris in both motos.
Timms again headed the rest of the MX2 riders home but in the final race had to pull in with mechanical issues before getting going again circulating for points, leaving Haycock to take the overall.
The Senior Open on 250 machines saw Ross Millard thwarted in turn-two leaving him dead last.
He pulled his way back into contention only to stall two laps, in leaving Callum Beeken to claim a small advantage over a strong riding Callum Watson, who just held Seb Berthiame off as they crossed the line.
Millard gated first in heat two but Beeken was on top form and made an early pass and held on to the flag.
Just 10-seconds separated the top four of Beeken, Millard, Berthiame and Watson.
Berthiame comfortably won heat three on Sunday from Beeken, Watson and Millard and he repeated the win in the final moto.
Millard went down heavily early on, allowing Tristan Daniels and Joe Leyland to fill the final two top five spots behind Beeken and Watson.
Senior 125s saw a dominant performance from TM-mounted Liam Gale, but he had to work hard for his maximum.
A noteable performance from Harvey James on Sunday after a bit of a struggle in Saturday’s conditions saw him claim second and fourth in the tacky conditions.
Billy Duke was quick out of the blocks and Gale home in the first one and backed it up with three thirds to claim runner-up overall.
A strong second place in the final moto gave Ryan Tanner enough breathing space to secure third overall.
Only three points separated the top three in the Big-Wheel 85s as early race leader Jake Smith went down in both of Saturday’s motos.
On the first occasion Smith managed to still cross the line second behind Ben Zeale with Ronnie Reeves not too far adrift.
Second time out a first-lap slip saw him remount at the back after losing way too much time allowing Henry Life to get away and make up for his fourth-place finish in the first heat.
Reeves held off third-placed Zeale.
The Small-wheel 85s saw brotherly bragging rights between Jake (BW) and Tommy (SW) Smith come, with younger brother Tommy taking the honours.
A first-race puncture wrecked Tommy’s chance of a class win and his fifth-place finish on a flat meant he had to settle for runner-up to Shaun Mahoney.
Mahoney took the first win with Jay Bond over 40-seconds behind and Zach Lewis third.
Smith was unbeaten from then on, although the results don’t show how hard he was pushed by Mahoney to the flag each time.
With the first two so far out front it was only ever a fight to see who would finish third overall and Bond had that wrapped up beating Lewis each time.
The smallest lads in the Junior and Auto combined class mastered the track and conditions no problem.
Auto winner by just four points was Ifan Rees, who won two and was runner-up to Kai Allen in the other two.
Allen had a mishap in the third moto but made up for it by winning the final heat by a huge margin to secure second step on the podium.
Third step on the box was claimed by the consistent Joseph Chandler.
Ben Casey had the edge over his closest Junior rival Riley Small, who managed to edge Casey out for the win in one of the races, as Casey found himself at the back having to force his way through the field.
Jack Evans battled all weekend with Harley Prickett for third as they did at the first round with Evans this time taking the spot.
The Vets rounded out the weekend with the class split into 35 Plus and 45 Plus classes.
Round one winners Andy Marchant and Chris Brown battled with each other despite being in different classes. Marchant is still recovering from a hand injury but after a great battle held top spot on each occasion.
Behind them the 35-Plus class battle between Rich Tudor and Christian Seldon and Billy Hazel was intense.
Seldon’s pace from last season seems to be slowly returning after a broken femur ended last season for him.
Tudor held the pair at bay in moto one and Seldon’s DNF in moto two dropped him out of the scrap for the overall.
Hazel and Seldon traded places for the remaining motos. Tudor seemed to be struggling with Sunday’s conditions giving Hazel an easy run in for second overall in the 35-Plus class, while Seldon’s DNF gave a lifeline to Chris Peaty and Ryan Thomas.
The 45-Plus class was a walk in the Welsh borders for Brown and had it not been for Sunday’s wildcard entry Andy Watkins he would have been well clear of runner-up John Gauntlett.
Gauntlett was getting pushed harder by Steve Beeken as the weekend went on as he gets to grips with the big 450 Suzuki.
2019 Apico BSMA Nationals – Pontrilas Results
MX1: 1 Adam Harris, 2 Harry Linton, 3 Reegan Skinner, 4 Joe Seedhouse, 5 Shaun Buchan, 6 Jamie Dobson.
MX2: 1 Carl Haycock, 2 Jack Timms, 3 Jake Ford, 4 Tom Shutler, 5 Owen Wilkes, 6 Rhys Loyd.
Senior Open: 1 Callum Beeken, 2 Seb Berthiame, 3 Callum Watson, 4 Ross Millard, 5 Tristan Daniels, 6 Joe Leyland.
Senior 125: 1 Liam Gale, 2 Billy Duke, 3 Ryan Tanner, 4 Harvey James, 5 Ryan Mundell, 6 Jak Taylor.
Big-Wheel: 1 Ben Zeale, 2 Henry Life, 3 Jake Smith, 4 Roan Delaney, 5 Ronnie Reeves, 6 Tyler Smith.
Small-Wheel: 1 Shaun Mahoney, 2 Tommy Smith, 3 Jay Bond, 4 Zach Lewis, 5 Max Miles, 6 Mitchell Conway.
Junior: 1 Ben Casey, 2 Riley Small, 3 Jack Evans, 4 Ollie Waters, 5 Harley Prickett, 6 Jayci Dix.
Auto: 1 Ifan Rees, 2 Kai Allen, 3 Joseph Chandler, 4 Sean Smout, 5 Finley Thompson, 6 Charlie Roberts.
Vets 35+: 1 Andy Marchant, 2 Richard Tudor, 3 Christian Seldon, 4 Billy Hazel, 5 Ryan Thomas, 6 Chris Peatys.
Vets 45+: 1 Chris Brown, 2 John Gauntlett, 3 Gary Mason, 4 Phil Coid, 5 Mark Cleaver-Austin, 6 Steve Beeken.