Wet Marley! Red Marley Hillclimb – Report & Results
Red Marley 2018 was wet: in fact it was very wet, just like the proverbial paddy field but with no rice. As time went on the rain stopped, but the conditions underfoot and under wheel became worse. Carl Pope’s hill record (19.56secs ?), set some years ago, was never threatened.
Report by Dave Gittins – Images courtesy of Eric Miles
Only about half the 105 entries made an appearance. No doubt bad weather in other parts made travelling well nigh impossible, and the number of spectators was well down on the impressive totals of previous years.
The2016 and 2017 “Man of the Meeting”, Tom Crump was there, but this year persistent bike trouble put him on the side-lines when it mattered most. Nevertheless, Tom still managed fastest time of the day (23.13 secs) in one of the heats of the All-Stars Invitation. With Tom out of action Into the breach came three riders, all (appropriately!) with surnames starting with “P”: Nick Payton, Ricky Pedder and Carl Pope.
These three dominated both the All Stars Invitation and the All-Comers classes.
In the All-Stars class, Nick Payton was the 4th fastest qualifier for the second semi-final. But in the final he was outstanding, pushing faster qualifiers, Carl Pope and Ricky Pedder, into the other podium places. The margins were close – just 0.33secs separated the first three in the final, but that’s how it should be.
The All-Comers was virtually a repeat performance involving the same three riders. But this time Ricky Pedder was in winning mode. With conditions off the start line and up over the famous “pimple” deteriorating by the minute, Ricky revelled in the mud. The Phil Edwards Triumph Metisse in Ricky’s hands was a winning combination, and this time the margins were wider. Carl Pope is always outstandingly competitive, but he has never won the accolade “King of the Hill”. Paddock gossip suggested this year might be his year (and he certainly deserves it) but it was not to be. Nearly one second separated the two at the finish, with Nick
Payton this time some way adrift.
The over 350cc class final podium (with All-Stars excluded from this class) was an all Two-Stroke affair with the Huskies of Simon Cooper and Nathan Jones very closely matched throughout the qualifying heats. While the up to 350cc class, often the preserve of Ian Bain and his trusty Greeves, again went to the man from the banks of the Mersey. His bike smokes well and that always seems to be a good sign.
Bryan Goss – British 500cc champion in 1970 – presented the awards afterwards but everybody there was a winner, particularly the riders who tackled the conditions and the Red Marley club who ran a trial on the Sunday and the hill-climb on Monday and, thankfully, had plenty of tractors on hand for towing.
Up to 350cc:
- Ian Bain (Greeves) 31secs
- Steve Dent (Faber BSA) 11
- Marcus Doughty (250 BSA) 44
Only three finishers.
- Nick Payton (400 Maico) 88secs
- Carl Pope (600 BSA) 03
- Ricky Pedder (650 Triumph Metisse) 21
- Jim Shand (600 BSA) 26
- Simon Cooper (400 Husqvarna) 13secs
- Nathan Jones (400 Husqvarna) 58
- Jake Humphreys (380 CZ) 53
Only three finishers
“Classic Dirt Bike” Challenge (up to 250cc)
- Marcus Doughty (BSA) – the only finisher!
- Ricky Pedder (650 Triumph Metisse) 04secs
- Carl Pope (600 BSA) 96
- Nick Payton (400 Maico) 16
Only three finishers
Winner Len Vale-Onslow Trophy (King of the Hill): Ricky Pedder
Winner Silver Helmet (FTD): Tom Crump (500 Jawa) 23.13secs