The real McCoy! Witley MCC Motoduro – Race Report and Results
The Witley Motorcycle Club used the challenge of Covid Regulations to run two innovative motorcycle enduro events at Odiham in Hampshire.
Report by Andy Withers – Images courtesy of Awsportsphoto
A ‘Stubble Practice Day’ was held one week, where I turned up with the wrong equipment, two cameras and an assortment of lenses, I should have turned up with a bike and riding gear. From British Champion Aaron Gordon through to riders having ‘one off’ rides on 1990’s Twinshock Honda MX bikes, everyone had a blast in this relaxed and ‘pure grin’ event.
The innovative ‘Motoduro’ was held a week later using the same piece of land with more serious competition. For the ‘Motoduro’ a three mile track was marked out with 200 straw bales, tape and markers and a small woodland section was added. Riders started from the Cusses Gorse MX start gate with holeshot prizes for two of the four 30 minute ‘Motos’ for each class. The event attracted full grids and a strong field to battle in the mud, rain, wind, and bright sunshine, a typical Autumn day!
Darryl Bolter and Thomas Ellwood went head to head in the experts with Bolter taking the two holeshot prizes and skating over the mud and water for three wins out of four, winning by almost two minutes in each moto. However Ellwood took the overall win because in the second moto Bolter had a DNF which cost him the overall win, he said ‘ I didn’t get a very good start and got totally filled in, three quarters round the first lap I noticed a bit of steam and by the end of the lap it was pouring out so decided to pull in before breaking the bike. Cleaned the rads out and topped the water up and went back out for the last 2 races and all was fine’.
As the day wore on muddy conditions meant the occasional steaming bike and cleaning the ‘rads’ was essential in between and sometimes during the race as riders became unrecognisable with full ‘mud suits’ Ellwood took the second moto win and three seconds to give him the overall, ‘he thought it was a great event’, with ‘his only complaint being the weather’. Alex Barnes, Lewis Ranger and Elliott Davies vied for third overall finishing in that order. Barnes took it by only a point after opening up with two strong third places, whilst Ranger had a second and third but a first race tenth place cost him a podium overall.
In the Veterans, Gary McCoy took a clean sweep in all four motos and one of the holeshot prizes, there were four different second place riders showing how difficult it was to be consistent in the conditions. David Alderton was second in the first moto and Richard Allred in the third but both only finished two motos so were down the order, whilst Tom Griffiths was second in the second moto his only finish. Neil Bowker got stronger as the day went on taking the second holeshot prize and second in the final moto which gave him second overall by a single point from Neil Foster.
James O’Mara had time to smile for the camera as he took four wins in the Clubman’s pulling further away from the opposition as the day progressed avoiding being filled in by the pack. Connor Smith, Matthew Ward, Aaron Barnes and Reilly Dennison all took seconds with Barnes second overall and Dennison third. Sophie Thomas led into the first turn for the first holeshot but Matthew Ward cut inside to cross the line first.
Robert Melita took three wins for top spot in the Sportsman, after only managing seventh in race one. Ian Hopcroft took the holeshot in moto one and took third in the race behind winner Aaron Chiles and runner up Chris Harman, Chiles and Harman called it a day after the first race, and Hopcroft only managed a lap of moto two. Stuart Williams was second overall including a second and two thirds whilst Mark Paul tided on points with Tyler Davis but took it with second in the final moto. Jonny Twelvetrees took the two hole shot prizes and a second and third places, but failed to start the final moto costing him the chance of a podium.
At the end of the day, which finished early due to the precision organisation of the Witley Team, riders and bikes had clear evidence of a great day of motorcycle endurance, a highly successful event sure to stay on the calendar. Witley would like to thank Michelin, Enduro Tyres, Cherry Estates and R. Collard for their valued support of these events.
Experts: Thomas Ellwood (KTM) 91, Daryl Bolter (Husqvarna) 75, Alex Barnes (KTM) 69, Lewis Ranger (Husqvarna) 68, Elliot Davies (Husqvarna) 64, Toby Morley (KTM) 53, Aaron Smith (Husqvarna) 45, Brad Armstrong (Husqvarna) 37, Josh Kirby (KTM) 36, Ben Harding (Yamaha) 31, Richard Ely (Sherco) 31
Veterans: Gary McCoy ( KTM) 100, Neil Bowker (Honda) 71, Neil Foster (KTM) 70, Joe Beard (Husqvarna) 59, Lee Rodwell (KTM) 57, Gary Hanson (KTM) 50, Lee Szabo (KTM) 48, Richard Alldred (KTM) 46, James Stevens (KTM) 39, Sean Massey (KTM) 36, John Gilbody Sherco) 36.
Clubman: James O’Mara (KTM) 100, Aaron Barnes (KTM) 80, Reilly Dennison (KTM) 71, Matthew Jordan (KTM) 64, Connor Smith (KTM) 63, Matthew Ward (KTM) 60, Shane McKane (Husqvarna) 50, Dominic Wilson (KTM) 40, Ryan Letts (Husqvarna) 38, Nicholas Carr (Husqvarna) 32, Oliver Hobson 32 KTM).
Sportsman: Robert Melita (Husqvarna) 89, Stuart Williams (KTM) 77, Mark Paul (KTM) 66, Tyler Davis (KTM) 66, Lee Boulden (KTM) 55, Jonny Twelvetrees (Honda) 53, Andrew Newland (KTM) 45, George Dennison (Honda) 43, Ben Godding (KTM) 40, Jonathon Masters (KTM) 34.