In what as already been a simply enthralling season, it comes as no surprise that the lead at the top of the AMCA MX1 British Motocross Championship standings as changed yet again! Following round 7 held at the iconic Hawkstone Park, it’s now Welsh Marsh MX Husqvarna ace Shane Carless back in control.
As Shane went 2/2/1 on the day for 2nd overall it was Wildcard rider and former multi AMCA Champion Luke Burton on the Geartec Husqvarna taking the win. Going into the event, South African Neville Bradshaw was head of the table but the DK Offroad Kawasaki rider now finds himself dropping to 2nd spot and trailing Carless by 15 points in the race for the title.
With another overall win, Jamie Wainwright (Apex KTM UK) has stretched his advantage at the top of the MX2 class to 53 points. Also increasing his AMCA Championship title chasing point’s gap, Lewis Dowdeswell (FWC Construction Bay KTM) blasted to a brilliant Hawkstone maximum score in the 125cc action. That massive performance as turned a very slender single point lead into now a 39 point difference.
Although Wildcard riders completed the Hawkstone winners circle by taking the overall wins in both the Veterans and Youth classes, the respective Championship leaders, Jamie Powell (SRH KTM) and Matt Tolley (IDS/Tolley Jewellers KTM) still bagged enough points to keep their title ambitions firmly on-track.
Rewinding for now though and the Hawkstone action in this series powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop started with that big hunt for the MX1 title as James Dodd certainly proved that he had his gating gloves on by grabbing the first of what was to be three fast holeshots. In a typically ultra-competitive moto one encounter, Dodd was then replaced at the front by first Gary Gibson and the eventual winner Burton. The man though who was really charging hard in this one was Carless, gating 9th then crashing before storming through the pack to close right on Burton’s tail in the final stages. With Dodd eventually taking 3rd, Bradshaw, Josh Waterman, Gibson, Smart and Lee Harrison were the next men home. Moto one was to prove to be particularly painful for regular top end finishers Luke Meredith and Luke Mellows. Whilst Meredith was struggling with a back injury sustained during the previous week, Mellows was still feeling the effects of being unceremoniously run over early on before then getting up to finish 9th!
Following an almost identical pattern to moto one, Dodd and Gibson both briefly led the second MX1 clash before Burton glided through for the win. On this occasion, Carless came up from 5th to again get 2nd with Bradshaw taking 3rd as Waterman, Harrison, Smart and gaining more valuable Championship points. Starting with a brace of strong 2nd placings, Carless proved that he had an abundance of power and speed in the Hawkstone sand and he then confirmed this in the last moto of the day by scoring a classy win.
Although Dodd was again getting the holeshot, Carless took just two laps to move into pole position before racing off for victory. This time though Burton had to work hard gating 6th before slotting into 2nd on lap five. After having had two strong rides, Smart was forced out of moto three when losing a handlebar grip. In his absence, Ashley Thomas flew the JSR Thunderroad Honda flag with a 10th place finish just behind Daniel Preston and Josh Greedy. Aboard his 2T 250cc mount, young Greedy was always right in the thick of the action all-day long and great value for his eventual 10th overall. Delighted to get the red series leader’s plate back in his possession, Carless said, “In qualifying I set the fastest time then had a decent start in race one before going over the bars. I charged hard recording the fastest lap time and recovered back to 2nd. After another 2nd in race 2 I then wanted to badly win the last moto as I was feeling so good on the bike. Following another poor start I got my head down and put it together for the win. We have been working so hard this season both on and off the bike as a team so it’s nice to be getting the results for everyone involved.”
There was drama well before the start of Sunday’s MX2 racing when Josh Coleman suffered a big crash in timed qualifying suffering a dislocated shoulder. Getting the offending bone to pop back into place, Josh refused to be defeated, not only completing all three moto’s but also incredibly bagging a fantastic 3rd overall. The opening MX2 moto though was to be all about young Corie Southwood aboard his 250cc 2T Husqvarna leading from start to finish. Despite coming under late pressure from series leader Jamie Wainwright who had earlier crashed and tasted the Hawkstone sand, Corie kept his composure to hold on and gloriously record his first ever AMCA Championship moto win, what a venue to achieve that feat! Whilst Corie rightfully punched the air with delight in taking a coveted win, Kristian Whatley got home in 3rd following an earlier fall as another totally impressive young 2T ace Jaydon Murphy took 4th chased by Jansen Day, Coleman, Kieron Cooke and Ryan Crowder.
MX2 moto two and it was Wainwright all the way with Whatley giving chase but the highlight in this one was to be a stunning battle for 3rd. For just about the entire duration, Murphy, Crowder, Luke Dean, Coleman and Day locked horns, the verdict eventually going to a very determined Coleman. After starting with that memorable win, Southwood gated down in 25th this time around before climbing strongly back and get home in 9th.
After Whatley had initially grabbed the holeshot, MX2 moto three was to be another fine victory for the Sandmaster Wainwright. In another super scrap, Coleman bravely got the better of Crowder in a tough battle for 3rd which went all the way to the flag with Dean, Southwood, Day, Murphy and Cook next up. In the overall positions, Southwood just missed out on a podium but will surely carry an abundance of confidence into the remaining rounds following his super Hawkstone showing. Rightfully having the final word, Corie said, “I managed to qualify 8th which I wasn’t happy with so got Moto 33 to tweak my suspension for the racing. In moto one I gated 2nd and quickly got into the lead. As the race progressed I was tiring and having some bad arm pump but just kept it on and I knew Wainwright was after me. Having lost some family members recently I have been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster and so really wanted to bag the win for them. I managed to bring it home despite having no energy left and I had certainly gave it my all. In moto two I then tangled with another rider before coming through from the back for 8th. Moto three I was involved in first corner collision and had to come through for 6th. I want to be with the front runners so was gutted to finish 4th overall and just miss out on the podium but I will certainly try again at the next round in three weeks’ time. Many thanks to my team LHRT Marsh MX for their support, all of my sponsors and the two men who really made it happen for me, JK Jointing and Langmead Construction,”
All season long the 125cc Championship action as thrilled and with two very fast Wildcard riders in attendance on Sunday adding extra spice to the contest, the heat was certainly turned up a few notches! Despite the presence though of Jimmy Margetson and James Hanscomb, it was series leader Lewis Dowdeswell who took the moto one win with a faultless gate to flag ride. Going into Hawkstone, Dowdeswell was just a single point clear of Chris Povey but that advantage had already quickly increased following this clash. Gating 8th, Povey had to settle for a 5th place finish just behind Nathan Bache but ahead of Travis Steels, Ryan Zebedee and Keelan Southwood.
In 125cc moto two, looking to fight back, Povey grabbed a great holeshot before Hanscomb then finally Dowdeswell took control. Eventually Povey was then pushed further back to 4th by Margetson as Ben Watkins and Jordan Ridgway produced impressive rides to get home in 6th and 7th respectively just behind the flying Steels. If the opening couple of 125cc moto’s were good, then the last one produced a pure classic. Dowdeswell, Povey, Hanscomb and Margetson were really going for it at the front before producing a dramatic finish. On the final lap, Dowdeswell was in control but Margetson was right on his tail and looking for a way through. Then just before the Hawkstone Bridge and with the finish insight they went for the same area of sand, Margetson clipping Dowdeswell’s back wheel and crashing. Quickly back on his feet, Margetson still though had enough time to remount and take 2nd with Povey, Hanscomb, Zebedee, Steels and Ridgway next up.
Just like the 125cc class, the Vets also featured a couple of Wildcards in the form of ‘Factory’ Phil Mercer and multi AMCA Champion Gary Davies. And displaying their class and skill it was Mercer on the IDS Transport KTM taking moto one after passing local Shropshire resident Davies two laps in. Having a very lonely ride, Vets series leader Jamie Powell on the SRH KTM got 3rd from Simon Lane, Craig Chamberlain, Sean Smith, Darren Bennet and Ste Marlow.
With Davies gating 7th in Vets moto two, Mercer took full advantage to glide to another win, over 16 seconds clear of Powell with Lane 3rd. The last Vets moto then threatened to produce some slightly different results as in the early stages Mercer found himself chasing Powell and Davies. However showing his vast experience gained from many years of racing on the top stage, Mercer then went through the gears, picking off his rivals in style before claiming another win. Taking 2nd was Powell from Davies, Lane, Smith and Chamberlain. In the title stakes, Powell now leads the way 94 points clear of Lane with Chamberlain up into 3rd after taking advantage of the missing James Lane, out due to a neck injury.
A fantastic thirty Youth class riders were in action at Hawkstone but there was no doubting the winner as 2018 AMCA Champion Joseph Brookes returned with a Wildcard entry. Aboard his Nationwide Signs KTM, Joseph was simply unstoppable comfortably winning all three races from gate to flag. In moto one the 2019 series leader Matt Tolley chased Brookes home with Harry Ridgway, Max Lewis, Ezra Blackwell and Joshua Fletcher-Williams next up. In this moto Yarin Evans, 5th in the standings was to crash hard in turn one when disputing the lead. Although Yarin bravely restarted and eventually finished this was to unfortunately be his only appearance of the day.
Following a very similar pattern to the opener, Brookes headed Tolley, Ridgway and Lewis in moto two as Reece Leverton and Jake O’Gorman also got in the mix. In the last race though it was all to change as while Brookes got another win, Tolley crashed four laps in and had to settle for 11th. That meant for the first time this season Tolley was to miss out on a podium as Brookes, Ridgway and Lewis took the honours. Saving their best rides of the day for this final clash, Henry Tomes took 6th , Lewis Proud 8th, Brodie Salt 9th and Harvey Gater 10th
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The results of the event are below.