Barr & Franklin no1 at Fatcats as Searle & Gilbert claim the titles! Michelin MX Nationals Round 4 – Race Report and Results
The Michelin MX Nationals British Motocross Championship finished up their 2020 series at a wet, damp and dreary Fatcat Motoparc.
Images courtesy of X-Cast Media
Though the weather was grim the action on track certainly warmed the cockles, and the Fatcat and MX Nationals crew did an amazing job on the circuit to make sure the event went ahead.
There was a chance coming into the first Fastest 40 moto that both Tommy Searle and Josh Gilbert would be crowned MX1 and MX2 Pro Champions after just the opening race, but that dream came to a dramatic halt for Gilbert whose Par Homes RFX Husqvarna would expire mid-race when he was in a comfortable lead.
The drama in moto one began on the first bend when reigning MX1 champ Harris Kullas came down with Josh Spinks, with the Estonian Cab Screens Deos Group Honda rider coming off the worst and pulling out of the race and meeting with an injury.
Forcing his way to the front for an early lead was Par Homes RFX Husqvarna racer Evgeny Bobryshev ahead of BRT KTM’s Martin Barr with ASA United Husqvarna’s title contender Brent Van Doninck third. With the title on his mind, Buildbase Honda rider Searle was in a comfortable fourth, until Brent Van Doninck would suffer a broken subframe forcing him out of the race. Bobryshev would seemingly have the race under control, but Barr would claw in the deficit onboard his steaming machine and would move past the Russian with three laps to go and to take a fantastic win. Bobreyshev would finish second, with Searle in third with his teammate Jake Nicholls in fourth. Jake Millward onboard the Chambers Racing Husqvarna had a mid race turn of speed and was at one point was closing in on Searle, and would end the moto in fifth. Gabriel KTM’s John Adamson had a great moto in sixth ahead of the Cab Screens Deos Group Honda of Dan Thornhill, the Verde Substance KTM of Lewis Tombs, the Par Homes RFX Husqvarna of Nathan Dixon and the Apico Husqvarna of Stuart Edmonds. Gav Stevenson would promote himself from the Expert class and finished a great 11th.
With Gilbert having to watch the end of the moto from the sidelines Lewis Hall on is privateer LHR KTM was showing great speed and passing MX1 riders towards the front of the pack. With his first-ever Pro moto win in his sights Hall kept his cool and would win the MX2 Pro class by 9 seconds over James Carpenter in second, with Chambers Racing’s Ben Franklin earning a superb third. Although some way from the lead trio Buildbase Honda’s Steven Clarke would finish the moto in fourth after suffering an early race fall. Callum Mitchell was running in the top three for a good portion of the race but would end the race in fifth, with Phoenix Tools Kawasaki racer Carlton Husband sixth, Glenn McCormick on the Unique Fitout Husqvarna seventh, Par Homes RFX Husqvarna’s Joe Rizzi in eighth, Rob Hooper Racing Yamaha’s Sam Nunn ninth and the 2T king Brad Anderson on the Verde Substance KTM in tenth.
In Moto 2 it was Millward with the holeshot, but Van Doninck wasn’t hanging around and he would move into the early lead. Bobreyshev was on a charge though and by the second lap he was at the front of the pack as the two traded places, but on lap five the Russians machine would give up the ghost leaving Van Doninck to take the moto unchallenged. Searle knew that just a moto finish would seal the title and he got himself into second and settled into a nice rhythm, and there he would stay to earn the title for Buildbase Honda. Making moves behind Searle was moto one winner Barr and after an epic dual with Adamson he would force his way into third which would earn him the overall win for the round. Adamson would hold onto fourth and rode tremendously to finish the weekend with well a deserved third overall. Millward took fifth in moto two from Nicholls in sixth, Thornhill seventh, Josh Spinks eighth, Tombs ninth and Edmonds tenth.
So the final Championship podium saw Searle crowned the champion with Barr in second and Van Doninck third.
After an opening moto DNF the pressure was on Gilbert to finish the race and claim the points he needed to make it three MX2 Pro titles in a row, and with his rival Clarke coming down on lap one and being in dead last you could forgive him to taking it steady and making sure of the finish. But that’s not Gilbert’s style and after a poor start he worked his way through the pack to take the moto win and the title for the Par Homes RFX Husqvarna team. Anderson was riding a stormer on his 2 stroke in second but the calculators were doing overtime to see who would take the round overall. It emerged that Franklin was in the hot seat and with his roll-off system flailing in the wind he fended off the challenges of Carpenter to finish third in the moto and win the round overall. McCormick would finish behind Carpenter in fifth, with Clarke making is way up to sixth. Chambers Racing’s Tom Grimshaw was seventh, Rob Hooper Racing’s Taylor Hammal was eighth, GRT KTM’s Kyle McNicol ninth and Husband was tenth. Moto one winner Hall couldn’t back up his first race, going out of the race on lap five. The top three on the day were Franklin, Carpenter and Anderson.
Gilbert would win his third title in a row with Clarke maintaining second in the series with Carpenter a fantastic third.
The Youth classes had two days of racing in the tough conditions but they did it with gusto. Ryan Waggott got his Gaerne Small Wheel 85 title aspirations off to the best possible start with a great moto one win but Josh Vail and Kalvin Kelly fought back with 2 and 1 victories to their name with Vail finishing the round with the overall over Waggott and Kelly. Brandon Buckley showed good speed and finished fourth ahead of Will Haddock fifth and Joey Benfield sixth. But it was Waggott who would be crowned Champion over Vail with both battling hard throughout the season with Benfield in third. Well done guys!
The question in the Fly Racing Big Wheel 85’s was if Charlie Heyman could go through the whole season unbeaten, and maybe it shouldn’t have even been a question as he was once again in scintillating form taking all four moto wins, the round overall and the title in what has been a stunning season for the rider. Behind Heyman, Wal Beaney and Billy Askew fought it out all weekend long for the number two spot both for the round and in the series. With two second places apiece the number 2 spot on the day would go the way of Beaney courtesy of beating Askew in the final moto but in the series Askew would hold onto to second in the Championship. Mckenzie Marshall and Ben Mustoe were tied for fourth on the day with Marshall getting the nod with James Barker in sixth.
Bobby Bruce had already sewn up the Talon MXY1 125 championship so he instead made the trip to Italy to compete in his first ever EMX125 championship round, putting in a very good performance too. Back at Fatcats though Bailey Johnson returned to action after missing much of the season and showed he still has the speed and talent going 1-1-2-1 for the overall. Ollie Colmer had his best result of the season with a superb second with Ethan Lane third. Harvey Cashmore would claim fourth with William Farrow fifth and Charlie Palmer sixth. In the standings though it was the Cab Screens Deos Group racer Joe Brookes who would finish second after tieing points for Palmer in third.
There was pre-event heartbreak for the Talon MXY2 250 series leader Louie Kessell who would suffer a training injury meaning he would miss the meeting and lose the chance of taking the title. At the weekend though there was a three-way battle for the win, which went the way of Ben Clark who rode fantastic all weekend in the challenging conditions. Cullen Scott would end the series with a moto win, second on the day and the title in his grasp, which brought elation to his family and the Team Green Kawasaki crew. Tom Murphy was third overall with Tyler Westcott fourth, Luca Pegg fifth, Lewis Glynn sixth. Westcott would also finish the series in an excellent second, relegating the injured Kessell to third.
Joe Clayton came into the round with two round wins under his belt in the Oakley Expert MX1 group and with a good chance of taking the title but Shaun Southgate had other ideas and revelled in the conditions and got better as the weekend went on, winning both of the Sunday moto’s, earning him the weekend overall and the number one spot in the Championship. Well done Shaun. Luke Parker featured strongly and finished second, with Ben Edwards having a fantastic weekend in third. Jordan McCaw would nail fourth, with Josh Taylor fifth and Richard Bird sixth. Clayton would finish down in eighth but his previous good points tally meant he held onto second in the Championship with Bird on the third step of the podium.
Pickings were slim in the Bell Expert MX2 class with just six racers contending the round, nonetheless, Jake Preston continued his great run of form going 1-2-1-2 for the weekend win, securing the championship title in the process. Charlie Putnam would win race two and finish second overall with the final moto victor Ollie Beamish in third. Tomas Hardcastle would be fourth, Troy Willerton fifth and Jack Grayshon sixth. In the final standings, Beamish would be the runner up with Putnam third.
One of the closest contests going into the final round was in the Pro-Green MX Amateur MX1 class where the top five riders were separated by just 17 points. Brad Thornhill was a dominant force at Fatcats though, and by taking the chequers on three occasions he would make huge strides in the championship and force himself into third overall in the series, with the round four overall. Scott Hail with the moto 2 victory would finish second over the weekend with Harry Bradley rounding out the podium, but it was behind these guys where the title race was occurring. Round 2 winner Rob Cross would crash out of moto 2 effectively ending his title chances and with Steven Kelly and David Hamilton not having the best of weekends the title fight would be between Bradley Maddever and Callum Gordon. The two traded results over the weekend but in the end, Maddever would finish the weekend with fourth over Gordon in fifth and the title would go the way of Maddever, ahead of Gordon and Thornhill. Great racing guys!
Kieran Yorke would be tasting the champagne in Pro-Green MX Amateur MX2 finishing off with another solid performance, although Daniel Brough with two moto victories would take the weekend overall over the champ after the two tied on points. Just one point behind the top two was Jack Moore having a great two days in third. Lewis O’Sullivan was fourth, Isle of Wights Mitch Young was fifth ahead of David Finnamore in sixth. Flanking Yorke on the series podium was Young on the second step and Moore in third.
The Moto Connection Clubman MX1 class would go down to the wire between Pete Bulley and Ryan Osborn. Bulley was on the attack in the early motos going 2-1-1 , getting to within three points of his title rival going into the final race. When the pressure was on though Osborn held his nerve to finish the moto in second with Bulley back in fifth, and Osborn claiming the title. Well done to both of these riders for putting on a great show this season. Bulley had the consolation of winning the weekend overall ahead of Osborn with moto four winner Alex Christopher in third. Charlie Roper was fourth at Fatcat and would also feature on the series podium in third. Craig Kerfoot and Justin Robinson would round out the round top six.
In the RFX Clubman MX2 category, Logan Wilcox piled in with three race wins to be victorious in the round ahead of Alex Buchanan who was crowned champion. Ben Wainwright put in a good shift for third ahead of Tallon Aspden in fourth, Joele Hart fifth and Daniel Shutt sixth. Jonathan Hughes would take the chequers in the opening moto but a moto two DNF relegated him to tenth overall. Behind Buchanan in the series standings was Aspden in second with Connor Warren in third.
With the curtain now fully down on the 2020 Michelin MX Nationals Championship, we would like to say a huge congratulations to Paul and Neil Irwin and their small but hard-working team for making the series happen in the hardest possible circumstances and making sure that the UK had a national series to be proud of.
Round 4 Results
Fastest 40 MX1
Fastest 40 MX2
Small Wheel 85’s
Big Wheel 85’s
Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3 r 4
1 301 Shaun Southgate 90 18 22 25 25
2 49 Luke Parker 82 20 20 20 22
3 3 Ben Edwards 69 15 14 22 18
4 35 Jordan McCaw 67 22 18 15 12
5 166 Josh Taylor 62 14 16 16 16
6 57 Richard Bird 62 16 13 18 15
7 150 Aaron Patstone 55 11 11 13 20
8 114 Joe Clayton 55 13 15 14 13
9 38 Gavin Stevenson 50 25 25 – –
10 17 Luke Meredith 48 12 12 10 14
11 65 Jacob Joyce 40 9 8 12 11
12 171 Zac Stealey 38 8 9 11 10
13 51 Jay McCrum 35 10 7 9 9
14 447 Simon Booth 29 7 6 8 8
15 911 Ben Hayward 11 6 5 – –
16 55 Steve Bixby 10 – 10 – –
Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3 r 4
1 957 Jake Preston 94 25 22 25 22
2 91 Charlie Putnam 89 22 25 22 20
3 771 Ollie Beamish 81 18 18 20 25
4 321 Tomas Hardcastle 64 16 16 16 16
5 74 Troy Willerton 58 20 20 18 –
6 99 Jack Grayshon 18 – – – 18