Can Kullas get the job done?? Michelin MX Nationals Round 5 – Preview
Images courtesy of X-Cast Media
This time last year a number of titles were claimed, and it could well happen again in the Pro MX1 class on Sunday where Estonian ace Harri Kullas has a 42 point lead over his closest rival Lewis Tombs. With 50 points up for grabs at the last round, if Kullas can extend his lead beyond that by the end of the day the title is his, and with him back to full fitness he will out to resume his place at the head of field following his injury hindered round 4.
Tombs has had a tremendous season and as well as gunning for the title will be looking to fend off the likes of Jake Millward, Mel Pocock, and Jake Shipton who all have podium aspirations. Throw into the mix injury returnee Elliott Banks-Browne we are set for an intriguing contest on Sunday.
Josh Gilbert will have fond memories of Cusses Gorse having been crowned MX2 champion there last year, but this year’s championship is not so clear cut with Martin Barr just 3 points behind. The two have been pretty much inseparable all series long and the battle between these two this weekend is not to be missed. While these two fight it out for the title, the race for the remaining podium spot is also heating up with Michael Ellis holding the number 3 spot right now, but with only 4 points over Ben Franklin in fourth and a further point ahead of Glenn McCormick expect there to be fireworks between these three on raceday. Round three winner Ashton Dickinson could also be a spoiler as will Liam Knight who is coming back into form and with the likes of Carlton Husband returning from injury who will make the podium this weekend is anyone’s guess.
While the Pro races take place on Sunday, the Saturday will see the Youth, Expert and Clubman classes have two of their weekend races, with another two the following day.
Tyla Hooley has been a sensation in the Small Wheel 85 group this year and with a 107 point lead over McKenzie Marshall in second, he will be looking to get the job done this weekend. Marshall though has a whole gaggle of racers snapping at his heels for the number 2 spot with Warren Clarke, Billy Askew, Beau Brown and Finlay Boxall all within 11 points of him.
In the Big Wheel 85’s Sam Atkinson is another who could be travelling home with his title wrapped up and judging by his form this season he is going to take some stopping having taken 14 out of 16 race wins so far. Like in the Small Wheel’s the second spot on the podium is where the battle is raging with Thomas Harris, Charlie Palmer, Joe Brookes and Bailey Johnston all contention for that accolade.
The MXY1 class has seen four different round winners this year and the way it has played out, there could be a fifth at Cusses this weekend. Ryan Mawhinney has been the most consistent this year and in turn tops the standings but with round 1 winner James Smith, and victor last time out at Canada Heights Oliver Beamish hot on his tail anything could happen in a class which is stacked with talent.
Ike Carter has a hold on the MXY2 championships at the moment, but at every turn of the wheel Kyle McNichol has been there and with just 31 points separating them there can be no complacency in the Carter camp this weekend.
Gavin Stevenson consolidated his Expert MX1 lead at round 4 but Richard Bird will be determined to reel in the 38 point deficit and give himself a fighting chance of the title at the final round.
The Expert MX2 class has probably been one of the best to watch with results and race wins coming from all over the shop and with a four-way battle for the title raging. Aaron-Lee Hanson has emerged as the leader by putting in consistently strong races throughout the campaign while others have crashed and burned. Ben Clark started the season like a rocket train but missing Canada Heights has meant he has to work extra hard this weekend to make the lost ground back up. Jordan Keogh and Janson Day are both within thirty points of the leader so a good weekend for them could put them in serious contention for the title at the last round. The win on the day could come from anywhere with the likes of Charlie Putnam, Rossi Beard, Joel Rizzi and Josh Coleman all having been amongst it at some point this year.
Stephen Kelly is in firm control of the Clubman MX1 category, 50 points ahead of Luke Oldfield who took the win at Canada Heights, but with 200 points still available it’s still all to race for.
It’s super tight at the top of the Clubman MX2 standings with Brad Thornhill the table topper, but only 6 points ahead of Harry Fletcher. Throw Fabio Rizzi and Toby Lightbown into the mix, it’s set fare this weekend for some great racing in this class.
As well as two long days of racing, there is also the Straight Rhythm on Saturday night to enjoy (To read our Straight Rhythm preview click here).
The Cusses Gorse circuit is situated near Salisbury with the venue postcode being SP4 6JW.
A Standard Weekend Pass gate price is £20 or you can buy an Online Advanced ticket price £15 via www.mxnationals.co.uk or you can purchase tickets for just the Straight Rhythm for only £5 (this will give you entry to the event from 5pm)
Or you can make a weekend of it and camp at the track! Camping is only £10 (per pitch).