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Frantic Finale. AMCA British Motocross Championship Round 9 – Race Report and Results
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Frantic Finale. AMCA British Motocross Championship Round 9 – Race Report and Results

by adminSeptember 13, 2017

Just 48 hours before the deciding round and with the intended venue of Norley in Cheshire waterlogged, alarm bells

Gary Gibson grabs the MX1 moto two holeshot_

were ringing as the AMCA frantically attempted to reschedule the final event of the British Motocross Championship powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop. Thankfully though and coming to their rescue was the Cannock MXC who not only took the last minute task on but also did a great job in making it happen! The new venue was just a little further South down the M6 at Lower Drayton in Staffordshire, the all-weather track actually being in a remarkably dry condition! With the panic over it was time for business and the all-important race action which would finally dictate just who would be crowned the 2017 AMCA Motocross Champions.

Report and Images by Mike Wood

Luke Burton celebrates winning the MX1 title_

The first title to be decided was the MX1 class, with season long leader and defending Champion Luke Burton (FUS FRO CPS Husqvarna) the favourite for glory. Determined to take the fight right to the wire though it was 2nd placed Gary Gibson who grabbed the moto one holeshot before being passed on the opening lap by both Shane Carless and Burton. Desperate to stay in contention, Gibson then crashed out when attempting to force himself up the inside of rival Burton as the duo entered a tight corner. Restarting last, Gibson’s slim title hopes had now all but disappeared as he remounted to eventually finish in 20th place with Burton taking the win and with it the 2017 MX1 title. Next best in moto one was Carless from Ryan Crowder, Luke Meredith, Ashley Thomas and Jack Timms.

Making amends for that earlier fall in moto one, Gibson then bounced back in style to win the second clash from

Luke Burton the MX1 Champion with FUS team boss Mike Keenan

start to finish chased hard by Burton, Carless, Crowder, Neale and Zac Stealey. Finishing the season just how it had all began way back in April, Burton closed the 2017 MX1 campaign with another moto victory after Gibson had again grabbed the initial holeshot. Eventually Gibson dropped down to 5th behind Carless, Crowder and Meredith but had still done enough to hold onto the runners-up spot in the final series standings. On the Lower Drayton podium it was Burton, Carless and Crowder, the latter rider recording his fourth consecutive podium since switching over to Apico Husqvarna. This Lancashire rider is definitely one to watch out for in 2018 along with Paul Neale, a great 5th in his debut MX1 season!

After winning the previous week at Frocester in the penultimate round, defending MX2 Champion Josh Waterman

Shane Carless, 2nd in MX1

was prepared to put it all on the line at Lower Drayton although he still trailed leader Ray Rowson by 43 points. In Sunday’s opening clash, Waterman led all the way from start to finish as Rowson moved up from an early 4th to get home in 2nd ahead of Lewis King, James Wainwright, Jansen Day and Clinton Barrs. The day though did not start quite so well for two of the other fancied runners, Luke Dean and Bradley Tranter. Whilst Tranter crashed on lap one, Dean holding 3rd in the series finished 17th after a stone split his radiator hose causing his Yamaha to lose water.

Although Waterman was right on it again in MX2 moto two and taking another win, crucially Rowson bagged 2nd spot with the very impressive young Wainwright in 3rd. At the first

Ray Rowson the MX2 Champion_

attempt to run this race, King had led before his Kawasaki developed an electrical fault. With his pit crew working frantically to rectify the problem, King ran out of time and had to go on his spare machine but still got home in 4th with his TMC Kawasaki teammate Day the next best. Again in trouble, Dean lost the use of his back brake in this one and finished 8th.

So going into the final MX2 clash of 2017, Rowson held a 31 point advantage over Waterman and was definitely favourite for the crown. Getting the job done in style, Rowson won that last moto from Waterman to thus bag his first AMCA title. Although not starting this final race of 2017, Dean still took the bronze medal position in the series despite competing the last five rounds suffering from injury. Special mention also to Clinton Barrs who just 48 hours after getting married still competed at Lower Drayton taking 6th overall and 5th in the Championship table. Apex Geartec KTM ace Rowson afterwards on the podium commented, “This was another productive week. Seven days ago at Frocester I struggled with my starts but still got the points on the board. Today I knew what was required and got the job done and it was nice to finish with a moto win. I really enjoyed this year making lots of new friends along the way.

Lewis King, 3rd in MX2

It’s been fun racing alongside my wife’s brother (Lewis King) and I hope to be back next year to defend my title. I am now looking forward to spending some quality time with my wife and baby daughter.”

Needing just 7 points to bag the AMCA 2T crown, Brad Turner got the job done in the best possible fashion by winning moto one from gate to flag. Next best in this opener was Jordan Saunders, the man destined to finish as the series runner-up whilst Jack Waterman buoyed by his super Frocester showing took 3rd. Also in the mix in a typically entertaining 2T blast were James Lane, the all-action Rory Jones, Jason Kenderick and Nathan Bache. In this one, expected front runners Shaun Buchan and Bradley Doyle both fell, finishing 14th and 19th respectively.

Showing no mercy, Champion Turner on the IDS AMS KTM took another comfortable win in moto two as Saunders,

Ste Marlow(411) leads James Russell(38) and Brian Staples in a Vets battle_

Lane and Doyle all over-hauled fast starting Waterman. Completing the top ten this time around was Jones, Kenderick, Buchan, Ashley Wilson and Jordan Wright.

After his recent strong form, unfortunately Waterman was to hurt his back in the last 2T moto when landing from a jump and after having earlier made another quick gate, dropping from 4th right down to 14th. Finishing the season in style though it was Turner yet again with the win from Kenderick, Lane, Saunders, Jones, Doyle and Buchan. Surprisingly in clinching his first AMCA title, Turner also announced his retirement from the sport saying, “my body is battered and I am having lots of trouble with knee pain after years of youth and adult racing. I must think about what pays my mortgage and the suspension tuning business must come first. I still intend

Rory Jones(231) and James Lane(781) in 2T action_

to keep a bike so that I can go practising and maybe take in the odd club event now and again.” In the separately scored 2T (MX2) class, Bache claimed the title 31 points ahead of Jones who had earlier missed two rounds.

With Terry House holding 2nd in the AMCA Vets series a non-starter at Lower Drayton, it offered Simon Lane the chance to move up the standings and that’s just what he did! Lane was consistently fast out of the gate, bagging a 2/1/2 scorecard although he could not prevent the superb James Russell from taking the 2017 Vets title. Russell the 2004 AMCA Open class Champion returned to serious racing this year and what a revelation he has been! On the Premier Bikes KTM, James has been on all nine podiums, took seven overall wins and recorded eighteen moto victories. At Lower Drayton, Russell

Brad Turner celebrates his 2T title win_

put two of those moto wins on the board as Gary Jones took 3rd overall, just reward for a season in which he has been continually very much right in the mix. On Sunday, Darren Bennett, Brian Staples and Stephen Marlow also finished their campaigns in style. Indeed Staples was to be another rider taking full advantage of House non-start by retaining his Vets Over 50 title, overhauling the former by a mere 3 points in the final reckonings.

Sunday’s event also featured the third and final round of the AMCA 85cc/150cc Youth series with Alfie Rickwood eventually taking the title. The decider at Lower Drayton started with a truly fantastic battle as Rickwood locked horns with and snatched victory ahead of a very determined Brandon Hill after the two riders

Alfie Rickwood, the Youth runner-up_

and passed and repassed in a classic. Also in the mix during this very entertaining moto one were Max Lewis, Ozzie Murray, Joshua Fletcher-Williams and Aiden Woodman.

In the second clash, it was Hill who had been a non-starter during the previous round at Frocester who took a massive win with Rickwood moving past Lewis to finish as runner-up. Rickwood was fastest away in the final moto but a fall enabled Hill to move through and take another win with Lewis, Fletcher-Williams, Woodman, Ben Dutton, David Bradley, Murray, Joe Butler and Christopher Conduit completing the top ten. That result meant that Rickwood had also secured the Youth title just 16 points clear of Lewis with Woodman in the bronze medal position. Having won four of the nine motos, never finishing lower than 2nd place in any contest and also suffering an unfortunate DNF at Frocester, Rickwood was certainly a worthy Champion.

Many congratulations to all the 2017 AMCA Champions, Luke Burton, Ray Rowson, Brad Turner, Nathan Bache, James Russell, Brian Staples and Alfie Rickwood.

Final Championship positions

AMCA MX1  1 Luke Burton 1401 points 2 Gary Gibson 1221 3 Shane Carless 1211 4 Ryan Crowder 1152 5 Paul Neale 981 6 Andrew Smart 920.

AMCA MX2 1 Ray Rowson 1364 points 2 Josh Waterman 1327 3 Luke Dean 1130 4 James Wainwright 1084 5 Clinton Barrs 1066 6 Jack Cox 1035.

AMCA 2T 1 Brad Turner 1405 points 2 Jordan Saunders 1207 3 Jason Kendrick 1145 4 Bradley Doyle 1106 5 James Lane 1087 6 Shaun Buchan 1022.

AMCA Vets 1 James Russell 1504 points 2 Simon Lane 1367 3 Terry House 1240 4 Gary Jones 1181 5 Brian Staples 1026 6 Richard Chinn 1015.

AMCA 85cc/150cc Youth 1 Alfie Rickwood 462 points 2 Max Lewis 446 3 Aiden Woodman 371 4 Joshua Fletcher-Williams 362 5 Brandon Hill 342 6 Joe Butler 329.

Round 9 Results

MX1

Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3
1 14 Luke Burton 174 60 54 60
2 68 Shane Carless 158 54 50 54
3 146 Ryan Crowder 147 50 47 50
4 17 Luke Meredith 131 47 37 47
5 78 Ashley Thomas 129 45 41 43
6 4 Gary Gibson 126 21 60 45
7 110 Andrew Smart 117 41 39 37
8 15 Paul Neale 115 29 45 41
9 171 Zac Stealey 111 39 43 29
10 282 Jack Timms 104 43 22 39
11 8 Matt Ridgway 99 37 35 27
12 56 Edward Briscoe 97 33 31 33
13 143 Luke Bull 95 31 29 35
14 105 Brandon Benjamin 93 35 27 31
15 231 Luke Newman 85 26 33 26
16 110* Dean Swift 77 27 26 24
17 401 Jack Beniston 69 25 21 23
18 54 James Smith 69 23 24 22
19 102 Thomas Shepherd 65 15 25 25
20 208 Scott Carter 62 24 20 18
21 27 Joshua Scott 58 18 19 21
22 305 Ollie Kirby 52 20 16 16
23 77 Matthew Robinson 48 14 15 19
24 800 Andrew Marchant 47 17 10 20
25 133 Lee Clarkson 45 22 23 –
26 496 Matthew Jones 44 10 17 17
27 772 Craig Chamberlain 41 13 14 14
28 74 Matthew Chaplin 39 12 12 15
29 100 Nicky Jones 34 16 18 –
30 115 Liam Pearce 33 9 11 13
31 310 Joe Bailey 24 11 13 –
32 34 Mitchell Benjamin 19 19 – –

MX2

Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3
1 1 Josh Waterman 174 60 60 54
2 12 Ray Rowson 168 54 54 60
3 311 Lewis King 147 50 47 50
4 40 James Wainwright 144 47 50 47
5 6 Jansen Day 135 45 45 45
6 99 Clinton Barrs 127 43 43 41
7 44 Luke Mellows 113 39 35 39
8 4 Bradley Tranter 105 21 41 43
9 210 Lee Truman 105 37 33 35
10 7 Cory Mcshane 101 41 27 33
11 131 Jack Cox 97 29 31 37
12 101 Jack Gardner 97 35 37 25
13 964 Ryan Jones 93 33 29 31
14 70 Tyron Cleaver 79 27 26 26
15 616 Troy Jones 75 25 23 27
16 782 Oliver Consterdine 74 20 25 29
17 52 Luke Dean 63 24 39 –
18 557 Shaun Pearce 51 31 20 –
19 73 Jack Wankling 48 – 24 24
20 47 Luke Phillips 45 23 22 –
21 68 Callum Evans 43 22 21 –
22 119 Martin Jones 26 26 – –

2Stroke

Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3
1 808 Brad Turner 180 60 60 60
2 83 Jordan Saunders 155 54 54 47
3 781 James Lane 147 47 50 50
4 247 Jason Kendrick 138 43 41 54
5 231 Rory Jones 133 45 43 45
6 61 Jack Waterman 122 50 45 27
7 144 Bradley Doyle 112 22 47 43
8 194 Ashley Wilson 111 35 37 39
9 101 Shaun Buchan 107 27 39 41
10 33 Jordan Wright 107 37 35 35
11 68 Nathan Bache 105 41 27 37
12 71 Blaine Blackwell 101 39 33 29
13 46 Adam Hill 97 33 31 33
14 813 Chris Neesam 91 31 29 31
15 934 Sam Callow 80 29 26 25
16 288 Matthew Nash 77 26 25 26
17 41 Harry Clarke 71 24 24 23
18 50 Joshua Herbert 67 23 20 24
19 3 Colin Conduit 65 21 22 22
20 105 Richard Hathaway 59 19 19 21
21 84 Aarron Kitching 59 18 21 20
22 32 Craig Cording 54 17 18 19
23 6 James Mcquade 49 14 17 18
24 2 Connor Barrs 49 16 16 17
25 33* Daniel Talbot 48 25 23 –
26 19 Thomas Barlow 44 13 15 16
27 104 Nigel Woodman 20 20 – –
28 254 Anthony Bennett 15 15 – –

Vets

Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3
1 38 James Russell 174 60 54 60
2 73 Simon Lane 168 54 60 54
3 74 Gary Jones 147 50 50 47
4 6 Darren Bennett 144 47 47 50
5 22 Brian Staples 129 39 45 45
6 411 Stephen Marlow 127 45 41 41
7 205 Paul Wieczorek 125 43 43 39
8 505 Warren Clifton 117 37 37 43
9 271 John Heath 117 41 39 37
10 187 Chris Matthews 95 31 35 29
11 703 Wayne Holder 93 27 33 33
12 146 Robert Vernon 89 25 29 35
13 99 Marc Bates 89 33 31 25
14 125 Nigel Travis 88 35 27 26
15 268 Steven Gallagher 79 29 26 24
16 45 Karl Kavanagh 78 22 25 31
17 232 Matthew Holcombe 70 19 24 27
18 69 John Hawkins 67 24 20 23
19 888 Steve Ferney 66 23 22 21
20 126 Barry James 65 20 23 22
21 51 John Ball 62 21 21 20
22 167 David Bullock 52 17 18 17
23 490 Graham Howard 50 16 15 19
24 8 Dan Merifield 49 14 17 18
25 44 Sean Cossons 46 15 16 15
26 5 Stuart Brown 42 12 14 16
27 162 Adrian Goulden 40 13 13 14
28 999 Mark Bill 37 18 19 –
29 12 Tim Fitton 36 11 12 13
30 362 Bernard Cookson 26 26 – –

Youth 85/150cc

Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3
1 71 Brandon Hill 174 54 60 60
2 54 Alfie Rickwood 168 60 54 54
3 546 Max Lewis 150 50 50 50
4 15 Joshua Fletcher-Williams 139 45 47 47
5 715 Aiden Woodman 131 43 43 45
6 922 Ozzie Murray 131 47 45 39
7 334 Ben Dutton 125 41 41 43
8 214 David Bradley 117 37 39 41
9 170 Joe Butler 113 39 37 37
10 18 Christopher Conduit 105 35 35 35
11 857 William Platt 99 33 33 33
12 114 Joshua Kelly 93 31 31 31