By Dick Law. Celebrity pairing of TT hero and TV star Guy Martin and legendary enduro star David Knight were running a good third in the quad class in day one of Weston until a broken drive belt cost them a lengthy pit stop and dropped them back to seventh place come flag time.
The big four-wheel drive 1000cc V twins seem to have the upper hand and Steve Atkins proved it at the start of the three-hour quad race as he had built up a sizeable lead at the end of the very first lap from Stefan Murphy and Knight but his challenge for the win only lasted a half hour of the race as a thrown drive belt stopped him at the furthest point from the work area.
This left Murphy way out on his own in the lead that would never be challenged till the end of the three very very long hours of racing. Murphy, who also won last year, did the double with Harry Walker a strong second – the only riders on the lead lap.
While in the two-man four-wheel drive class, the Kellett brothers of Todd and Ty where on the quad debut to Isle of Man paring James Kerruish and Matt Thorpe. Knight was on it on his four by four Polaris and was running a strong third for the first three quarters of the race till he handed it over to speed merchant Martin who had never ridden a quad before. It must be said he did OK and was looking good for his stint at the bars.
At the halfway stage, it was Knighters turn and after re-fuelling and as quick power wash of the radiator to remove the clogging sand he was on his way, but that only lasted twenty minutes as like so many of the others he drive belt snapped under the strain and was towed back to the work area for a replacement.
As the flag fell Murphy was the winner from Walker with Liam Garbett third one lap down.
“Last year in won and I had no idea how it did it” sand a happy Murphy, “I came here with the number plate of and I thought there is a bit of pressure that goes with that number and the eyes were on me. I had a tactic all planed out and it worked out great. I gust rode round at the pace I wanted to and enjoyed it. But it all didn’t go quite to plan as I had a big crash with four laps to go. I went through one of the big puddles and it whipped the handle bars out of my have and I went over the bars. I am hurting now but it’s OK with the win.”
At the end of an action packed first day, Josh Greedy came out the winner of the 125 / 250 combined youth race while Louis Vincent held off a late charge from Ben Mustoe in the 65s
Howard Wainwright stormed off at the start on the 125 / 250 combined youth and built himself a sizable lead over Greedy till at about the hour point his bike came to a halt perhaps caused by the big puddles of water on the seaward side of the track.
This handed the lead to Greedy who had Aiden Williams and Brad Thornhill chasing him while Sam Nunn who was the first of the 125 riders held and lonely fourth place.
In the closing stages of the race Greedy had built up a comfortable lead but Thornhill was on a charge and closing fast on Williams.
As they crossed the finish line less than a couple separated the pair of up and coming riders. Only the top three finishers when on the lead lap with Nunn taking the 125 win a lap down.
Vincent looked in charge of the 65’s from the word go and Mustoe was mired in mid pack but had the pace to do something about it.
While others fell by the wayside Vincent and Mustoe stayed wheel side up and although Mustoe closed in on Vincent towards the end of the race Vincent held on to take the 65 win.
Shaun Mahoney was third, one lap down on the leaders with Charlie Hucklebridge did is family proud by finishing fourth.