King Neville the Third! 93rd Wild and Woolly Scramble – Race Report, Highlights and Results
The 93rd Wild and Woolly Scramble began as it always does with a dead engine start at precisely 11am. As the starter’s flag was raised so the silence was shattered as the bikes suddenly sprang to life.
Report by Fraser Law – Images courtesy of www.motoxphotos.co.uk
This year the course had two distinct characteristics. Whilst the outfield sections were surprisingly dry and fast, the four river crossings were as deep and difficult as ever. The last one in particular proved tricky from the start, though most riders managed to keep circulating.
First away and taking the holeshot was last year’s winner Jack Lee. Jack was closely followed on lap one by Neville Bradshaw and Ryan Griffiths.
The first three at this point had a remarkable 17 previous W&W wins between them. Jack and Neville made it clear from the first lap that both were very determined to take the win this time out. Ryan kept bravely with them for about the first 4 laps before losing third to hard charging Joe Tobutt. Joe moved up from sixth on lap one and was the only rider to stay on the same lap as the two front runners. Whilst he could see them at various sections of the track and stay close to their lap times for the first half of the race, he was never able to close up the gap. Meanwhile at the front a close battle raged. Jack’s enduro style and experience gave him an advantage at the water crossings, while Nev’s motocross speed gave him the edge on the outfield and whoops. Staying closely locked together the lead changed back and forth seven times in the first fifteen laps.
Further back Ashley Rilings recovered quickly from a bad start, hovering just outside the top five for most of the race. A strong finish saw him climb up to fifth over the last few laps. Also riding well in the same group was John Barnes. John started fifth but lost a couple of places around lap sixteen before clinching sixth just before the finish. Ethan Etheridge charged through the pack from sixteenth on lap one up to fifth on lap six, before a couple of incidents saw him drop to eighth at the flag. Jonathan Lee rode a very consistent race in seventh or eighth for his entire twenty laps and taking seventh place at the flag.
Whilst Nev Bradshaw kept his lead from lap fifteen, Jack Lee stayed in close pursuit. At one point around lap eighteen Jack closed right onto Nev’s back wheel and looked like another pass was on the cards. Try as he might he just couldn’t make it stick and Nev was able to pull back a bit of a safety margin for the remaining laps to make it win number three from three starts.
Jack Lee speaking after the finish- “ I started the race so nervous, thinking Nev was just going to disappear and I was going to struggle to get anywhere near him. I started really well getting the holeshot and keeping clean. Then after that me and Nev started to battle and swap places for the remainder of the race. I never got stuck it was all down to the speed Nev had in the open field. I felt really good on the water crossings and was able to catch Nev on that area of the track. I’m happy with my result as Nev is a very fast rider and I was within touching distance. Next year I hope for another fun battle with him.”
This year’s winner Neville Bradshaw- “The 2018 Wild & Woolly was a tough one, the track was very challenging and slick. I had a great race with Jack swapping the lead seven or eight times. The support around the track was amazing and I really enjoyed my race, which is what I look for in a day’s racing now. Well done to all the organisers, competitors and spectators. See you in 2019 on a 2-stroke.”
1 Neville Bradshaw, 2 Jack Lee, 3 Joe Tobutt 21 laps
4 Ryan Griffiths, 5 Ashley Rilings, 6 John Barnes, 7 Jonathan Lee, 8 Ethan Etheridge 20 laps
9 Charley Lee 19 laps
10 Lawrence Wiltshire, 11 Joe Gubbins 18 laps
12 Peter Chinn, 13 Garry West, 14 Tom Kruger, 15 Marc Bates, 16 Jordan Ryan, 17 Giles Hamilton, 18 Ashley Miller 17 laps
19 Edward Elkin, 20 James Higgins, 21 Oliver Bones 16 laps
22 Daniel Broughton, 23 James Thompson, 24 Roger Titman, 25 Ashley Batten 15 laps
26 Hayley Rilings 14 laps
27 Corey Blackwell, 28 Ben Jones, 29 Adam Jones 13 laps
30 Ryan Blackwell, 31 Christopher Bailey 10 laps