With just three rounds remaining of the 2017 AMCA British Motocross Championship, it’s time for the riders who either still hold aspirations of challenging for top three honours or want to ensure their qualification for next year to now step up to the plate! High scoring motos, full of quality and composure will be the minimum requirement to get themselves in the mix, but who can produce the goods?
Going into Sunday’s meeting promoted by the Cheltenham Spa MXC and on a recently revamped Brookthorpe circuit its Luke Burton, Ray Rowson, Brad Turner and James Russell leading the charge in the respective classes but they all know there’s still plenty of hard work to come as they are hunted down!
Right from day one in this super series powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop, it’s been the immaculate Luke Burton leading the MX1 charge and looking on course to retain his AMCA Championship crown. Behind him though there’s been plenty of quality chasers in what as proved to be a very competitive contest. Included in the list of possible riders to break into the top three is Ryan Crowder, winner last time out at Boraston. At present Ryan is 4th behind the equally capable Gary Gibson and Shane Carless who was also on the Boraston podium. With the unlucky 5th placed James Dodd now out with a wrist injury it’s so close that Richard Cannings, Paul Neale, Andrew Smart, Ashley Thomas, Ed Briscoe, Luke Meredith and Ben Saunders could all overhaul him this weekend.
Having took the overall win during the last three rounds, Ray Rowson has surged to the top of the MX2 standings. At present Ray sits 41 points clear of Josh Waterman with Luke Dean in 3rd. Having suffered a slightly disappointing 8th overall last time out at Boraston, Dean will be hoping to make amends during round seven on Sunday. The spectacular Brookthorpe circuit will certainly suit him though he will certainly have to be very aware of the form riders currently in MX2. James Wainwright who sits in 4th and Lewis King are right on it at present and really ripping up the tracks wherever they go, so watch out for these aces! Also going well and putting in high scoring, consistent rides thus pushing themselves right in the MX2 mix are Jack Cox, Clinton Barrs, Bradley Tranter, Luke Mellows and Jansen Day.
During the last two rounds, Brad Turner has stretched his advantage at the top of 2T thanks to overall wins at both Hawkstone Park and Boraston. At present, Brad is 120 points clear of Jordan Saunders who himself as had a super season with podiums at Bevercotes and Boraston. Completing the box last time out was Shaun Buchan who sits 7th in the standings behind Jason Kendrick, Bradley Doyle, Sam Smith and James Lane. In the separately scored 2T (MX2) class it’s still Nathan Bache leading the way.
Six rounds down and it’s been the same three riders who’s took the podium spots each time. So it’s no surprise that those three aces, James Russell, Terry House and Simon Lane are dominating the standings. At present it’s Russell on 988 points, House 908 and Lane 889. Next best is Gary Jones who has leapfrogged Richard Chinn and up into 4th whilst Brian Staples, Darren Bennett, Ste Marlow, Sean Smith and John Heath complete the top ten.
In what will be a very busy weekend of action there’s also racing on the Saturday at Brookthorpe with the headline event being the final round of the AMCA BWMA Ladies Championship. Leading the way in the Ladies is Bethany Farmer on 815 points with Leonni Tighe, Catherine King and Millie King all mathematically still in with a chance of taking the title. So get along to this great Gloucestershire venue which will be signposted off the A4173 Gloucester to Stroud and also B4073 Gloucester to Painswick road, the local postcode being GL4 0UT. Words and pic by Mike Wood.