Last Sunday round 4 of the Phoenix Tools Premier Motocross Championship took place at Little Silver Moto Parc, Exeter. Drizzly rain had fallen overnight, but still more water was put down early morning as the forecast was for warm conditions and what a decision it was as the track was soon to dry and more water was needed to be put down prior to the last block of races. Entries as usual were nigh on full and included in the Experts Wildcard entry Alex Rach who had last visited this venue back in 2008 when he took third overall in the British fourstroke Championship.
In the Expert Open Championship there was some really close racing and it was to produce three different winners. It was Kelvin Townsend who had posted the fastest time in Qualifying, but it was Championship leader Luke Hill on the HPR/DirtbikeXpress Honda who was to have the best start in the opening race from Townsend and Jackson Evans on the Phoenix Tools Honda.
Hill and Evans and Townsend were to power away at the front with Evans all over Hill straight away looking to get pass, but it wasn’t until lap 3 that he took the lead.
Hill was now gradually being caught by Darren Shears on the PCMP Yamaha and Luke Blanchard on the Blanchard Wells Yamaha who had got the better of Townsend and it wasn’t long before this turned in to a real tussle with Blanchard getting pass Shears on lap 7. Evans had a fair lead as they went in to the penultimate lap, but he was to go down on a canvered right hander when his front wheel washed out and through came Blanchard to take the lead as Hill had also gone down on the same lap. Blanchard looked to have this one in the bag, but as they say it’s never over until the Chequered flag, as he dropped it on the last lap and this was to gift the win to Hill with Maarten Cremers coming through to take a close 2nd ahead of Luke Mellows on the Meredith Suzuki who took 3rd.
In the second moto it was Blanchard with the best start from Hill and Evans and they were to set off at a tremendous pace with neither one giving an inch until lap 3 when Blanchard made a mistake which dropped him back in to 3rd. Evans was all over Hill on lap 4 desperate to find away pass, but Hill shut the door every time Evans had a go until towards the end of lap 5 when Hill lost traction going out of a lefthander which was all Evans needed to take the lead and from there he was to race away to take the win with Hill taking 2nd and the MX-Zone Honda of Jamie Skuse after a long hard battle with Blanchard taking 3rd.
The last race saw Shears with a blistering start from Hill and Cremers who were on a mission in this one and were soon joined by Evans. Shears was to dig in deep on the opening lap and was starting to get away at the front and Cremers was to get pass Hill who now had Evans breathing all over him. Shears was lapping some two seconds quicker than Cremers and by the end of lap 4 he had an eight second lead and was in full control at the front. Evans had managed to get pass Hill on lap 6 and was to close a bit on the leading two, but it was too much to ask as Shears took the win, Cremers 2nd and Evans 3rd.
In the Over 35 Championship class there was also some really fast and furious racing and as with the experts it was to produce three different winners. In the opening race it was Jon Lock on the Albion Kawasaki who had the best start, but a mistake on the second sharp corner put him right at the back and in to the lead was now Keith Hanson who led for the early stages before being put under pressure from the S J Hodder Kawasaki of Mark Wilde who was to take the lead on lap 3 passing Hanson on one of the descents. Wilde was to try and get away from Hanson but it was to no avail as Hanson was ready to pounce on any mistake if Wilde made any which he didn’t and Wilde took the win with Hanson a close 2nd with Colin Butler on the Maunders Racing KTM getting the better of fellow Maunders Racing Honda rider Rob Lewis two laps from the end to take 3rd.
In the second race it was a bit of a procession as it was Jon Lock who had the hole shot and he used it to great effect and powered away to take a convincing win with Wilde 2nd and Lewis 3rd. In the last race it was Lock who had the holeshot from Mark Roberts and Lewis. Lock was soon in to a rhythm and was easing away at the front all the time and by the end of the opening lap had a full 2 second lead over Roberts who now had the Gibbs Performance KTM of Jason Fraser all over him in 3rd. Fraser moved up in to 2nd on lap 2 passing Roberts on a right hander and was to set off after Lock who was well gone at the front, but on lap 4 Lock slowed right up, he had a rear wheel puncture and he was soon caught and passed by Fraser who from there on was untroubled and took the win with Lewis coming home in 2nd to take the overall on the day and finishing in 3rd was Butler.
In the Over 40’s class there was a good performance from Kevin Edwards who was to take two wins and a second to give him the overall on the day, but he was denied the hat trick by Paul Ayres who took the other win and in the Over 50’s class there was no stopping Tom Lowe who was to totally dominate all three races with a hat trick of wins, but there was a good tussle between Robin Sanders and Tim Hawkins for 2nd and 3rd in all three races with Hawkins taking 2nd overall on the day by 2 points.
In the Tyremarks Junior a class it was Championship leader Ryan Blee on the Spar/Albion Kawasaki who was to win the opening two races and he looked set for a hat trick of wins as he had the holeshot in the last race, but a nasty kick off a jump on the opening lap saw Ryan catapulted over his handlebars and hurt his hand. Blee did rejoin mid pack, but was in a lot of pain in his hand which was later revealed that he had broken one of his fingers. Ryan Allen who had finished 2nd to Blee in the first two races was to take control of this race and was to take the win and with it the overall on the day.
Report and Image by Dave Rich