Former MX des Nations team member Nev Bradshaw pulled out a shock result as he piloted his 1998 Honda CR500 to a race win in Sunday’s opening round of the British Motocross Championship powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop.
At this Boraston opener, Josh Waterman (IDS Transport/Hardcore Racing Yamaha), Jamie Wainwright (Wainwright’s Plant and Haulage KTM), Jordan Wright (AG Recycling/J W Oils Yamaha), James Lane (LRT Midwest Husqvarna) and Joel Fisher (MRS/Suomy KTM) took their respective class wins.
Following a week of unsettled weather, the Boraston circuit which was initially wet in places then became a true rut city producing numerous lines in just about every corner. The drying conditions also meant that there was plenty of tack and grip to greet the first big MX1 clash of the day, a class full of high quality and potential moto winners. In the opening clash, it was FUS Marsh MX Husvarna pilot and 2019 Weston Beach race winner Ashley Greedy who led for the majority of the contest before being passed by Josh Waterman two laps from home. Taking 3rd was James Dodd ahead of impressive MX1 debutant Corie Southwood, Neville Bradshaw on a 1998 500cc Honda CR two-stroke machine, Luke Burton, Adam Chatfield and Tommy Alba.
In MX1 moto two, Greedy again led the way but his progress was to be halted four laps in due to a rear wheel puncture. Managing to get back to his pit bay, Ashley made a quick wheel change and thus rejoin the race, eventually going onto earn 20th place. Taking the win again was the supreme Waterman with another accomplished display followed by Dodd, Bradshaw, Burton, Chatfield and Southwood.
Proving that he is already right on the MX1 pace, Southwood quickly go past Dodd in the final moto and led for several laps until arm pump set in. Now taking control was Bradshaw on his ‘big red 5’ Honda and there he remained, punching the air in delight as he crossed the line just a couple of bike lengths clear of a hard charging Greedy. Confirming a much deserved overall win, Waterman got home 3rd with the gallant Southwood having to settle for 4th.
In the MX2 Class, it was to be pretty much business as usual with defending AMCA Champion Jamie Wainwright reeling off three impressive wins. After Ryan Butler had claimed the moto one holeshot, Championship debutant Jordan Eccles surged to the front. Putting the hammer down, Eccles then led until just two laps from home before Wainwright who had initially gated in 9th came through for victory. Making a comeback after a 12 month lay-off, 2017 AMCA MX2 Champion Ray Rowson was to make an impressive start taking 2nd in this one with Eccles having to settle for 3rd ahead of Josh Coleman, Ryan Crowder and Jansen Day.
Moto two and Luke Dean on the KTM 250cc 2T led the early charge before the classy Wainwright took over at the front. Also on a KTM 250cc 2T, Crowder had a super ride to get home in 2nd with Rowson, Dean, Henry Williams, Coleman and Day next up. For Eccles this race was to already deliver a serious blow to his potential title aspirations as a rear wheel puncture forced him out on lap three when inside the top ten after having worked hard to haul back up from an early 21st spot.
MX2 moto three and Dean stretched that KTM throttle wire to the max again as he led the pack away before being passed by Rowson. Ray’s advantage though was to last for just two laps as Wainwright now surged to the front before racing off to claim his hat-trick of moto wins. Rowson eventually got home in 2nd but had to work very hard for his points after first seeing off a very determined Williams then repelling a late challenge from Dean and Eccles. Also inside the top ten again in this one was Coleman, Crowder, Day, Mark Young and Cory McShane.
The big news in the 125cc Championship class before Sunday’s event came with the announcement that MX1 Champion Shane Carless would now be competing. After a week of intensive treatment on a dislocated shoulder, Shane realising that holding onto a big 350F in MX1 would be a struggle made the brave decision to switch over to the eighth litre class and give it a go! And, what a move that was to be having his first ride for 15 years on a 125cc machine he went onto earn a great 2nd overall with a 4/3/1 scorecard behind the very quick victor, Jordan Wright.
With rain falling and conditions at their worst, the super Wright led 125cc moto one all the way as Ross Millard, Conner Challinor and finally Luke Newman held 2nd spot. On completion of a typically frantic 125cc contest, Jimmy Margetson moved up from an early 13th to take 3rd from Carless, Damon Strydom, Shane Holmes and Nathan Bache.
Showing that he definitely meant business, Wright was quickest away in moto two. However on this occasion, the hard charging Margetson was right on his tail and three laps in he took control. In a great scrap for top honours, Jimmy just about held on for victory with Wright 2nd, Carless 3rd, Strydom 4th, Newman 5th and Travis Steels 6th. In a thrilling final 125cc moto which had been restarted due to a red flag incident, Bache, Strydom and finally Carless took turns to lead. The fast Wright had to settle for 4th this time around as Margetson, Steels and Newman were again in the mix. AMCA 125cc Champion back in 2011, Holmes proved yet again that he has still plenty of gas in the tank by taking 8th with another impressive ride. This class also included several of last year’s top Youth 85cc runners who all gave a good account of themselves on their 125cc Championship debuts.
Returning to the AMCA Championship scene, Paul Burn grabbed the holeshot in all three of the Veterans clashes at Boraston before the LRT Midwest Husqvarna duo of brothers James and Simon Lane took total control. Indeed the dynamic duo were in simply irresistible form on Sunday with James taking the overall win going 1/2/1 and Simon taking the runners-up slot on 2/1/2. Next best in this class was Sean Smith from Burn and former AMCA Champion Andy Watkins.
In the opening clash, Burn led for 2 laps before being pushed back to 4th behind James Lane, Simon Lane and Smith as Watkins, Kev Rogers, Chris Jones, John Barnes and Anthony Bennett started strongly. There was then to be drama in moto two as James Lane in the early exchanges found himself in trouble and down to last place! Undeterred he got up, brushed himself down and charged all the way back to earn a remarkable 2nd behind brother Simon.
Burn was again fastest away in the final moto before being passed by first Simon Lane then eventual winner James Lane. Also having a very consistent day, Smith got home in 4th with Watkins, Jones, Bennett and Barnes next up.
Starting the new Championship campaign in the best fashion possible, Joel Fisher stormed to three impressive wins in the Youth 85cc class. On each occasion, Yarin Evans got home in 2nd with Lewis Roden 3rd. With the above three lads dominating, Caleb Greaves, Oliver Rigby, Charlie Hucklebridge, Harry Bebb and Harley Prickett were the next best in moto one.
All of the above lads were again right in the frame during moto two with Falon Ballie also joining in the fun. In the final moto, Greaves had his best ride of the day to earn an impressive 4th. Likewise Cameron Woodburn got stronger as the event unfolded, taking a super 5th ahead of Rigby, Harry Bebb, Prickett, Ballie and Logan Jay Powell.
What the riders said:
Josh Waterman MX1 Winner
“We were out first for qualifying so was unsure on how the track would turn out. It was tacky in places and slippy in the woods. Managed to put in a good lap for pole position! Race 1 had an ok start. Got through and took the lead with just over a lap to go. Race 2 I had another ok start but in turn two I nearly went down in the mayhem and ruts. Got myself going and pulled through to the lead by lap 4 and won. Race 3 I gated 4th dropped back a few positions then pushed through to 3rd but didn’t have enough in the tank to catch the front two. I would like to thank all my family, sponsors and supporters who made it happen.”
Neville Bradshaw MX1 Runner-up
“Had a super fun weekend. Really enjoyed riding the big 500 and got better as the weekend progressed. The win in race 3 felt amazing. Well done to the club on some awesome technical conditions and the AMCA for getting everyone back racing.”.
Jamie Wainwright MX2 Winner
“It’s nice to be back racing in the AMCA again after the plans we made didn’t happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic but all in all I had a solid day and felt very comfortable! The track was very deep and technical but also a lot of fun. P1 in qualifying started the day off nice. Race one I made a small mistake on lap two costing me some time but got my head down and pushed through to win the race. Race two I got a better start and moved myself into the lead, staying fully focused put me 13 seconds out front to the chequered flag. Race three was very similar to race two feeling comfortable and strong again taking it over the line for the overall. Would like to say a massive thank-you to all involved.”.
Ray Rowson MX2 Runner-up
“We went on Sunday with no expectations after not being behind a start-gate for nearly 12 months. We would have been over the moon with a top 5 placing bearing in mind with had done no training and had very little bike time! Jamie was on a different level the weekend but hopefully towards the end of the season we can get somewhere near his pace and have some good racing. What a pucka weekend this was though, the track was awesome and it was nice to get back behind the gate and racing.”
Shane Carless 125cc Runner-up
“Starting the 2020 championship was a weird one because of this covid19! I honestly didn’t think the season was going to happen, so with no riding/training and eating what I liked, the AMCA then announces that the season is kicking off in 6 weeks time and at this point we were still in lockdown! So I began training hard and riding, everything was looking good until I dislocated my shoulder one week before the championship. I initially decided on the Monday that I wasn’t going to race but by the Tuesday I had a chance to enter into the 125 class, so the team pulled it all together and got me a 125 to race, the last time I rode a 125 was 15 years ago.
I wasn’t sure if I could even ride a bike never mind race as I hadn’t even tried since my accident. We went out for practice with no pain but the shoulder was just very stiff. We ended up 4th in qualifying and then went 4/3/1 for 2nd overall on the day. I was feeling better and stronger but still nowhere near 100%. I absolutely loved the 125, thank you to the team for making this happen, I am now really looking forward to round 2.”
Luke Newman 125cc 5TH Overall
“ I am happy with my weekend. I went 2-5-7 for 5th overall. Coming in I felt good on and off the bike, this has been the first season in a long time I haven’t been starting with an injury. Qualifying went well, I have never been known to be a good qualifier so 6th position was a good start to the day for me. Race 1, I had a poor start but managed to sneak round the inside putting me around 10th on the first corner. I made some quick moves making my way into the top 5 by the end of the first lap and continued to move forward into 2nd. Mid way through I could feel myself catching the leader but I got stuck behind a slower rider in a deep rut and toppled over. I managed to hold on for 2nd which is by far my best result in a AMCA championship race to date which I am buzzing about!
Race 2 started very similar to the first one, a poor start but managed to sneak around the inside again, I got up to 3rd and got myself right up to the back of the front two riders. I was running a good pace and kept myself within distance but I started to get tight and made some mistakes, losing my rhythm, I lost two places at the end which was frustrating but I’m still happy with a 5th. Race 3 was rerun and I had my worst start of the day,but I put my head down and worked hard. I felt the best I had done all day and was making some good moves through the field. Unfortunately the race was cut short due to a bad crash so I only got to 7th. I felt I could of made a few more passes if the race had gone the full distance. The track was as perfect as you can get, with deep ruts and plenty of line choice making it nice and technical, however I am feeling pretty second hand today! Massive thank you to my family and the whole LRT team who all put a big effort into this weekend. Looking forward to the next one!
Simon Lane Vets Runner-up
“ It was a brilliant weekend and in the first moto I felt good. I knew James had the pace as when we practice he comes strong later so I had to get the hammer down fast. I knew he would challenge which he did by passing me. Second moto and I saw James make a mistake so I pushed on hard and quick to take the win. Last moto we were close but back markers played there part and I lost ground . But James had more speed all day and he was on it . Track was tough yet I liked it being technical! It got so gnarly that in the end it felt like we were just riding not racing, but it was so good to get competing at an event again, there is absolutely nothing that compares to it! If you are a motocross rider you will know what I mean! I was also pleased with the results produced by the rest of our team, well done lads.”
Report and pics by Mike Wood.