All hail Hales! Indian Motorcycle UK Flat Track National Championships Round 1 – Report
Round one of 2018 Indian Motorcycle UK Flat Track National Championships put on by the DTRA (Dirt Track Riders Association) took place on the well-groomed and fast riding circuit at the Adrian Flux Arena in Kings Lynn. The event also hosted round one of the 2018 Indian Motorcycle Hooligan Championships.
Held under floodlights on Saturday night the Pro class delivered top level racing with Peter Boast and Richard Mason both getting flying starts, but it was Gerard Bailo from Spain who came out of the first turn in front. Meanwhile Gary Birtwistle had worked his way through into second with Mason third and Toby Hales fourth. The Spaniard continued to ride well opening a small gap as the others fought for position and it looked like the victory was his for the taking.
Behind, things were heating up as Hales moved up the inside of Birtwistle to move into second and started to close
the gap to Bailo. The Spaniard rode well holding his line as Hales tried to find a way through. On the final turn of the final lap Hales shot up the inside and the pair tucked in for the line. Hales stole the victory leaving Bailo to settle for second. The battle for third continued as Pickering and Birtwistle duked it out. Pickering blasted around the outside to take the final spot on the podium.
The Intermediate class, formerly the Restricted class, was fast and furious as ever. It was newcomer Matt Porter who came in and cleaned up as he took the victory on his maiden voyage. Tim Aucott, who was back racing after injury hampered his 2017 season, had a fast race to take second. Martin Mills, who moved into the class after racing Rookie in 2017, showed how far he has come taking third.
This event also played host to round one of 2018 Indian Motorcycle Hooligan Championship. The Hooligan class features 750cc and above streetbikes, with the front brake disconnected and no knobbly tyres are permitted. As a result, there was an eclectic mix of big fast bikes on the start line including a fleet of Indian Scout mounted team riders.
The race got under way with huge roar of sound as Grant Martin blasted ahead to lead the way out of turn two. Behind, it was a big battle as Jonathan Falkman, Chris Hatton and Lee Kirkpatrick fought it out. Martin rode a classy race at the front never looking threatened as took he took the top spot. Behind, the race continued and it was Leah Tokelove who was shining as she made her way through the competition. Unfortunately, Kirkpatrick crashed while sitting in second leaving the door open for Tokelove, who’d ridden a smart race, and earned herself a well-deserved second place finish. Fellow Indian teammate Falkman rounded out the podium in third.
The other DTRA classes in the 2018 Indian Motorcycle UK Flat Track National Championships got under way on Sunday morning but unfortunately rain stopped play and the meeting had to be ended for safety reasons. These classes will now be contested over six rounds rather than seven.
Round two of the Indian Motorcycle UK Flat Track National Championships takes place on May 19/20 at the MCN Festival of Motorcycling at the East of England Arena, Peterborough. Round two of the Indian Motorcycle Hooligan Championships takes place on May 5/6 at Hells Race in Lelystad, Holland.