Benstead Claims Overall at Round 3 of the Instanda / Stebbings ACU Eastern Motocross Championship at Blaxhall.
Woodbridge MCC hosted round three of the Eastern Centre Motocross Championships, sponsored by Instanda and Stebbings Car Superstore on Sunday. Held in fine sunny conditions, the Blaxhall circuit was prepped to perfection and a large crowd enjoyed watching the action packed fifteen race programme.
Following the timed practise sessions, the 200 riders were put into the five race groups, with the fastest 40 making up the points scoring premier class.
Race one of the Premier group saw Kawasaki rider, Luke Parker, storming to the front, but Luke Benstead (GH Husqvarna), took over at the front on lap two, and was never headed throughout the twenty minute long race. 2019 champion, Lewis Tombs, (Banks Honda), managed to pass Parker, but could not get within striking distance to challenge the on-form Benstead. Declan Whittle took his Lings Husqvarna to fourth at the finish, followed by Braintree’s Josh Peters, with Ben Cole rounding out the top six. The first Junior grade rider to cross the finish line was fifteen-year-old Bayliss Utting, riding the little 125cc Husqvarna, into a fine 10th place.
The second Premier class race saw lots of drama. Luke Parker once again led the forty strong pack, chased hard by Tombs, with Benstead right at the back of the field. Parker led for ten minutes until Tombs took over at the front. Parker held on to second place, chased by his two fellow Norfolk based riders, Ben Cole and Whittle, but all eyes were on the progress of Benstead, who was scything his way through the pack at a furious pace. At the end of lap one, he was already in 16th place, then, two laps later, he was into 7th position. On lap six, Benstead passed both Whittle and Cole to move to 3rd place, and at the end of twenty minutes, he had almost caught Parker, but had to settle for 20 points in 3rd place. At the finish it was Tombs, Parker, Benstead and Whittle, with Peters and Reece Martin making up the top six. Another brilliant ride from young Utting saw him the first Junior home again, this time in 13th place. Second best Junior was Kent rider, Ryan Matthews in 16th, closely followed by sixteen year old Callum Murfitt.
Benstead stormed to the front of the third and final race and demonstrated his liking for the Blaxhall circuit by building up a huge lead. At the halfway point, he was already lapping riders, and had lapped up to 12th place at the end of an action-packed day. Ben Cole held second place for a couple of laps until passed by Tombs. Luke Parker had stalled his Pope Kawasaki at the start, but fought through to 3rd at the finish, followed by another good ride by Whittle for 4th place. Cole ended his day with a 5th place, ahead of the consistent Josh Peters, (Gabriel KTM). Young Callum Murfitt led the junior grade riders for most of the race but was passed by Bayliss Utting on the penultimate lap. Utting finished in a creditable14th place and scored the maximum 75 points in the Junior championship points tally.
In the A Group support races, enduro star, Jamie Roper took the overall win. Roper won the first two moto’s from veteran John Hinz, but after a sluggish start in race three, had to settle for second place. Hinz dominated the race, finishing over twenty seconds ahead of the rest. Consistent riding from Robert Baldry, Gareth Lane and Ben Gilbert saw them 3rd, 4th and 5th in the overall standings.
Local Woodbridge club member, Mark Hunt, easily won all three Group B races, and Tyrone Tugwell took his Kawasaki to second overall with a 5th and two 2nd place finishes.
Yamaha rider Philip Waldron had two wins and a second place to clinch the overall in Group C, with Vince Snell, who was racing for the first time after an absence of fourteen years, taking the 2nd spot with three good rides. Zac Roberts had a race win and a 2nd place, but a lowly 16th place in the third leg, ruined his overall chances.
The Group D support races saw Christian White narrowly taking the overall win from Jody Cutler and Shaun Tacey.
Round Three Eastern Centre Motocross Championships.
Premier Class Experts Overall. 1st Luke Benstead GH Husqvarna, 2nd Lewis Tombs Banks Honda, 3rd Luke Parker Pope Kawasaki, 4th Declan Whittle Lings Husqvarna, 5th Josh Peters Gabriel KTM, 6th Ben Cole GH Husqvarna.
Premier Class Juniors Overall. 1st Bayliss Utting Husqvarna, 2nd Callum Murfitt KTM, 3rd Ryan Gardiner Yamaha, 4th Ryan Matthews KTM,5th Archie Fisher KTM, 6th Matt French KTM
Group A supports. 1st Jamie Roper KTM, 2nd John Hinz Yamaha, 3rd Robert Baldry KTM,4th Gareth Lane KTM, 5th Ben Gilbert Yamaha, 6th Mark Goodson Husqvarna
Group B supports. 1st Mark Hunt Husqvarna, 2nd Tyrone Tugwell Kawasaki , 3rd Dan Lee Husqvarna, 4th Kyle Wilby 5th Josh Warren Husqvarna, 6th Josh Sturman Husqvarna
Group C supports. 1st Philip Waldron Yamaha, 2nd Vince Snell KTM, 3rd Reece Horne Kawasaki, 4th Sam Cushion Kawasaki, 5th Zac Roberts Honda, 6th Reece Gill Kawasaki
Group D supports. 1st Christian White Honda, 2nd Jody Cutler Honda, 3rd Shaun Tacey Honda, 4th Adam Groom Honda, 5th Mark Hegarty Yamaha, 6th William McCrae Honda
Championship positions after round 3
Experts. Tombs 216, Parker 181, Whittle 168, Cole 135, Benstead 132, Martin 124
Juniors. Gardiner 174, Murfitt 159, French 146, Fisher 116, Clark 96, Bunkle 93
Report from Charlie Ralph
Photo by Richard Blyth – Image Rich Media