Minchinhampton had the honour of hosting the opening round of the 2017 AMCA British Motocross Championship powered by Datatag on Sunday. It was the first time the circuit had hosted a race meeting and the MX1 field got the chance to christen the dirt.
Luke Burton was out to ensure he held on to his MX1 AMCA British Motocross Championship crown
Ryan Crowder grabbed the holeshot as both Arran Poolman and Adam Harris got a taste of the Gloucestershire soil. At the end of lap one, reigning MX1 champion Luke Burton, John May and James Dodd had all found their way past Crowder.
Dodd was soon into second place and catching his FUS Husqvarna teammate, Burton. But an off from Dodd forced him to settle for a runners-up position ahead of Gary Gibson, Richard Cannings, May, Shane Carless and early leader Crowder.
Despite gating in eighth in moto two, Burton took just six laps to move through and pass Carless for the win. Dodd, Gibson, Cannings and May were again inside the top six.
In his MX1 debut, Paul Neale snatched moto three’s holeshot, before being relegated on the opening lap by Carless. Having his best ride of the day Gibson rocketed to the front.
Within four laps Burton had got himself within striking distance of Gibson, but Burton would overshoot and go over the berm.
Burton held on to his ride and was ripping back the throttle within seconds, and come lap seven he had the lead – bringing it home for another impressive win. Burton, Carless and Dodd respectively took the podium.
“Although this was a new track for everyone, I really liked the layout and was looking forward to racing on it, so I was gutted to then wake up on Sunday morning feeling unwell,” admitted Burton. “I didn’t get the best of starts on the day but had the speed to work my way to the front. Big thank you to all the FUS team and SPS, the suspension was mint.”
AMCA MX2 Championship – Rowson puts the hammer down
Luke Dean will have been relieved to see the first MX2 moto red flagged after he had earlier hit the deck. In the rerun, reigning champion Josh Waterman, who was riding through the pain of an ankle injury, headed the charge – taking a gate-to-flag win.
Ray Rowson put the hammer down and moved from seventh to second place and held it to the chequers, while TMC Kawasaki teammates battled it out for third place with Jansen Day getting the better of Lewis King. Bradley Tranter, Dean and Clinton Barrs followed them home.
Jack Gardner pulled the holey in moto two while Waterman had a terrible start and had to start fighting back from 11th. His charge came to an abrupt end after coming together with James Wainwright on the exit of a turn, pushing Waterman to 14th.
At the front, Rowson passed leader Luke Dean on lap six to take the win. As the laps clicked down to the chequers, hard-charging Day fought his way past Dean, followed by Wainwright and King, while Waterman fought his way back inside the top 10.
The final MX2 moto produced some fine racing action
After holeshot king Gardner had been overhauled, Dean and Waterman were involved in a bar-to-bar fight for the moto with the pair taking it, in turn, to pass each other before Waterman came out on top.
After only managing to gate 12th, Rowson was on it – moving through the pack to pass Dean with just two laps to go. That push through the field secured Rowson the first MX2 overall of the campaign.
“I was happy with how it went,” declared Rowson. “I was looking for a top five finish in this class today as it’s stacked with so many capable race winners.
“I struggled with my starts and rode too tight but I am looking forward to racing on more new tracks throughout the season.”
With Ben Saunders having departed to MX1, AMCA Two-Stroke is guaranteed a new champion for ’17.
Matthew Nash took the honours of the first AMCA Two-Stroke holeshot of the year but was quickly passed by Tony Griffiths and later, Brad Turner who headed the field.
But Turner didn’t have it all his own way as he held off a hard-charging train of riders headed by Griffiths with Shaun Buchan, Bradley Doyle and Sam Smith following close behind.
Turner didn’t let the chasing pack phase him as he pulled the throttle and stretched out a gap for a comfortable win with Smith making his way past Griffiths, Buchan, Bradley and Doyle to take second.
In moto two, Waterman led the long charge to turn one before the impressive Turner once again made the pass and controlled the race to the flag for the win.
Smith came home in second place followed by Jason Kendrick, Jordan Saunders, Griffiths and Doyle in the mix.
Not to be denied a perfect day, Turner again raced to victory in the final Two-Stroke moto of the round.
The day didn’t end so well for Smith. A disastrous start in moto three left him with a 33rd place finish – ending his chances of a podium spot. Desperately disappointing after securing two second-place finishes.
“I struggled a little with my starts as I haven’t had much race practice since badly breaking my wrist last June,” offered Turner. “Once in the lead I tried to concentrate hard and put in some fast laps – keeping focused and not making mistakes.
“The track was really dry despite it being only April but Lawson and the Dursley MXC did a great job. Many thanks also to my team, IDS Transport and AMS for all their help.”
The Vets kicks into action for 2017 with a returning champion back on the gate
Last year’s Vets vice champion Simon Lane must have been pleased with his flying start to the first clash of 2017. Hard on the throttle, Lane rocketed away with James Russell hot on his wheels.
Russell, a former AMCA champion was making a welcome comeback to racing and he passed Lane on lap two. Terry House was making a charge of his own and recovered from seventh to slot into third. House then moved through in style to take the win with Russell, Lane, Martin Atherton and Richard Chinn following.
On to moto two and House started way down in 19th as Russell and Lane again had the early speed.
House impressed with his charge through the pack to find his way into third, but by then the front pair had gone.
In the final Vets moto of the day, it was Lane bagging a wire-to-wire win from House, Russell, Gary Jones, Atherton and Elford. That victory would prove crucial when the points were added up for the overall and the AMCA championship standings.
Incredibly, that final moto left Russell, Lane and House all on 164 for the overall. JSR Honda’s Lane got the top step and red plate, thanks to his last moto win.
Fresh from his victory, Lane said: “It went well today with the track really fast in the morning before getting rough which I prefer. The bike this year is so much faster and we have a fantastic team in which everyone is helpful and positive. Considering the weather, the track rode well, great job again by Lawson Benjamin.”
Joshua Scott and Joshua Herbert took the Non-qualifiers overalls to complete round one’s day.
The AMCA championship doesn’t rest with them back in action for round two this weekend (Sunday, April 16) at Nympsfield.
Minchinhampton Results – 2017 AMCA British Motocross Championship
AMCA MX1 Motocross Championship
|1||Luke Burton (FUS Fro CPS Husky)||60||60||60||180|
|2||Shane Carless (Marsh MX Honda)||43||54||54||151|
|3||James Dodd (FUS Fro CPS Husky)||54||50||47||151|
|4||Gary Gibson (DK OR Kawasaki)||50||47||50||147|
|5||Richard Cannings (M&S Brettle Husqvarna)||47||45||45||137|
|6||John May (350F KTM)||45||43||37||125|
|7||Ryan Crowder (350F Rocket Centre KTM)||41||27||43||111|
|8||Luke Meredith (Vernon Aggregates Husky)||39||39||27||105|
|9||Paul Neale (TMC LDR Kawasaki)||25||37||41||103|
|10||Ben Saunders (250 Marsh Husky)||31||23||39||93|
AMCA MX2 Motocross Championship
|1||Ray Rowson (Apex Geartec KTM KTM)||54||60||54||168|
|2||Josh Waterman (JD IDS Transport KTM)||60||43||60||163|
|3||Jansen Day (TMC LDR Kawasaki)||50||54||47||151|
|4||Luke Dean (SevenSeven2 Yamaha)||43||50||50||143|
|5||Lewis King (TMC LDR Kawasaki)||47||45||43||135|
|6||James Wainwright (Husky)||39||47||45||131|
|7||Jack Cox (FUS Fro CPS Husky)||41||35||37||113|
|8||Clinton Barrs (DK OR Kawasaki)||33||39||41||113|
|9||Jack Gardner (Husky)||37||41||33||111|
|10||Luke Mellows (44Development Husky)||35||37||31||103|
AMCA Two-Stroke Motocross Championship
|1||Brad Turner (250 IDS AMS KTM)||60||60||60||180|
|2||Jason Kendrick (KTM)||43||50||54||147|
|3||Bradley Doyle (250 Oakfield Yamaha)||50||43||45||138|
|4||Tony Griffiths (250 Conform Ltd Husky)||45||45||47||137|
|5||Jordan Saunders (250 Suzuki)||41||47||41||129|
|6||Ashley Beniston (250 AJS Welding KTM)||31||41||50||122|
|7||Sam Smith (Yamaha)||54||54||8||116|
|8||Shaun Buchan (250 Par Homes Yamaha)||47||29||39||115|
|9||Sean Eckersley (250 Suzuki)||39||23||43||105|
|10||James Lane (Bassett+Ryder KTM)||33||37||35||105|
AMCA Veteran Motocross Championship
|1||James Russell (Premier Bikes KTM)||54||60||50||164|
|2||Terry House (KTM)||60||50||54||164|
|3||Simon Lane (JSR Honda)||50||54||60||164|
|4||Martin Atherton (Hazport Honda)||47||47||45||139|
|5||Stephen Elford (Gabriel Insulation Honda)||43||45||43||131|
|6||Gary Jones (350F KTM)||41||39||47||127|
|7||Richard Chinn (300 Wildmoor TM)||45||41||37||123|
|8||Darren Bennett (610 Motorsport KTM)||39||29||41||109|
|9||Brian Staples (1st MX Honda)||37||43||27||107|
|10||Richard Vincent (250 Central Body Shop Yamaha)||35||31||33||99|