Less than a month after switching from KTM to Apico Husqvarna, Ryan Crowder showed that he has well and truly dialled into his new machine by bagging a superb overall MX1 victory during round 6 of the AMCA British Motocross Championship at Boraston, Shropshire on Sunday. This was the Lancashire riders maiden MX1 overall and boy did he deserve it, recording a strong 2/3/2 scorecard. Joining him on the podium was Luke Burton and Shane Carless, a result which saw Burton extend his series lead ahead of Gary Gibson with Carless now in 3rd. In MX2 the very much in-form Ray Rowson further extended his Championship advantage with another overall win as Josh Waterman and Lewis King were the next best. Over in the 2T and Vets, both of the respective title chasing leaders Brad Turner and James Russell took the victories. Standing alongside Turner on the 2T box were Shaun Buchan and Jordan Saunders whilst Russell was joined by his usual accomplishes Terry House and Simon Lane.
In the event powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop, heavy rain had battered the Boraston circuit in the preceding 12 hours before this event and with heavy thunderstorms widely forecast for race day, the prospects did not look good! Thankfully though the thunderstorms failed to materialise so on a track initially wet and heavy but which began to dry out, a whole maze of deep ruts were created, thus producing a very technical challenge and a whole choice of racing lines.
Proving that he was indeed ready for the challenge, the impressive Crowder posted the fastest MX1 qualifying time before also grabbing the opening race holeshot and lead the way ahead of James Dodd. Meanwhile in the frantic few early exchanges, Gibson bashed into Burton dropping the duo down to 10th and 11th places respectively. Upfront, Crowder controlled until just two laps from home before Dodd zoomed past to take the win. Taking 3rd spot with a super ride was Ed Briscoe whilst Burton recovered right back up to 4th ahead of Andrew Smart, Paul Neale, Gibson, Rich Cannings, Carless and Jack Timms.
After his great MX1 moto one win, Dodd was looking for a repeat in the second clash of the day but proving just how quickly fortunes can change in motocross, his hopes were to suffer a devastating blow. The very unlucky FUS rider was to be involved in a big, horrible collision on turn one which also halted Gibson, Adam Harris, Ben Saunders, Luke Meredith, Zac Stealey and Adam Wells. Whilst thankfully everyone was quickly up on their feet and able to continue, the one exception was Dodd, out of action and nursing a suspected broken wrist! Taking the win in this one was Burton despite a very late charge by Carless who was just a couple of bike lengths down at the finish. With another smooth ride, Crowder got home in 3rd having had to work hard to pass and see off Cannings as Smart took 5th and Neale 6th. The ride of the moto though surely belonged to Gibson who after that turn one melee went from last right up to 7th, a great effort!
Buoyed by that ride, Gibson then quickly passed the quick starting Crowder and Carless to thus take control of moto three. Steaming ahead he was well in control and on course for victory only to frustratingly stall his Kawasaki on the final lap. So instead it was to be Carless grabbing the honours from Crowder with Gibson 3rd. Once again the consistent Cannings, Neale, Briscoe and Timms finished inside the top ten whilst Meredith had his best outing of the day in 6th. This result meant it was overall success for a happy, smiling Crowder who before climbing onto that coveted number one spot on the podium said, “Really good today and I loved the track being very rutted and technical. Had my best qualifying session of the season and kept making good starts. Big thanks to Apico for the new bike and everyone that helps me.”
In a very eventful MX2 opening clash, James Wainwright, Bradley Tranter and finally Ray Rowson led the way although for most of the contest the front seven or so riders could well have been covered by the proverbial blanket! At one point, title contender Luke Dean was right in that mix having moved from 10th right up to 2nd before becoming a victim of those deep, bike devouring ruts! Entering a rutted corner, his Yamaha’s front wheel tucked in and pitched him in almost slow motion over the handlebars. Landing in the mud, Luke was then pinned under the bike thus losing valuable places and time, eventually finishing in 14th. Taking the win was Rowson from Josh Waterman, Lewis King, Wainwright, Cory McShane, Tranter and Jack Cox.
McShane grabbed the initial MX2 moto two holeshot before Tranter went through. As the pack powered into the second turn, Tranter went down and was then duly used as a launch pad by several of the following riders! Dean then briefly moved into pole position before Rowson became the new leader three laps into the contest. From here onwards it was the immaculate Rowson all the way with Waterman, King, Dean, Wainwright, Barrs, Cox and Jansen Day the next best. Proving just what a tough, brave lad he really is, Tranter complete with a ripped race shirt and tyre marks as proof of his earlier experience picked himself up to bag a hard earned 12th place.
Continuously fast out of the gate, Wainwright again made a flyer in moto three before Waterman moved through for the win. Early on Josh was under heavy pressure from Rowson before the latter made a mistake temporarily dropping back to 3rd. So on completion it was Rowson in 2nd from Wainwright, King, Tranter, Barrs, Dean and Day. In the title race, Rowson now has a 41 point advantage over Waterman with Dean a further 33 points in arrears.
Jack Waterman made a great start in the opening 2T clash of the day to lead the first three laps before suffering from severe arm-pump and dropping back to 10th. At the front, Jason Kendrick and Jordan Saunders disputed the lead with Kendrick eventually taking control for the win. Gating in 8th and suffering with a trapped nerve in his neck, series leader Brad Turner got home in 3rd with Shaun Buchan 4th, James Lane 5th and Rory Jones 6th.
Moto two and Kendrick was right on the gas again before being passed by Turner as Buchan, Saunders, Sam Smith and Jones filled the top six. So it was to be a Kendrick v Turner last moto decider for the Boraston overall verdict but that battle was really to be over before it even began! On the exit of turn two, the unfortunate Kendrick crashed and restarting last it was over to Turner to do the business. Despite rain now making conditions decidedly slippery, Turner passed fast starting Jordan Wright before racing onto the win despite a very strong late race charge by Buchan. For Kendrick despite a spirited comeback up to 14th place it meant a frustrating 4th overall. Afterwards Turner the overall winner said “I spent all week having treatment for a trapped nerve in my neck so was looking to just grab as many points as possible today. Track was really tricky with all the ruts and was then very slippery in the last race. Rode using my head and really pleased to take the win. Thanks to AMS/IDS and all my sponsors.”
Simon Lane led the opening Vets clash at Boraston before being passed by series pace-setter James Russell. Whilst Russell raced onto the win, Lane was now under pressure from House. Lining up a pass, House then fell but still had plenty of time to remount and maintain 3rd. In a topsy-turvy affair it all changed again in the closing stages as Lane now made a mistake dropping down to 4th behind House and Gary Jones with Darren Bennet, Richard Chinn and Paul Wieczorek also in the mix.
In a great race two battle, Russell led for five laps before being hunted down and passed by House. With one lap remaining though, Russell came storming back to snatch the win as House had to settle for 2nd ahead of Lane, Jones and Bennett. Looking to make amends, that elusive Boraston race win looked finally to be in House’s grasp in the last Vets clash as he led the way and well in control. However another fall in the closing stages saw him remount in 3rd as Russell was victorious from Lane. Having increased his series lead, Russell said, “ I was very apprehensive after all the rain the previous night but in the end it was a brilliant day. The ruts made it hard worked but I won two of the races with a last lap pass so very happy.” Words and pics by Mike Wood.