Buildbase Hondas clinched both pro MX1 and MX2 championship in the final and sixth round of the 2018 MX Nationals series at the fabulous Cusses Gorse track. Jake Nicholls won the MX1 with a race in hand as the MX2s went down to a last race duel between experience against youth – with Josh Gilbert beating Brad Anderson to the title by following him over the finish line, writes Dick Law.
But the pro MX1 overall went to wildcard rider Graeme Irwin who was taking a couple of the MXGP rounds off while recovering from a badly cut and bruised nose and upper lip he acquired at the Swiss GP.
As with most tracks it’s all about the starts and in the first combined pro MX1 and MX2 race Elliott Banks-Browne got the holeshot from Jake Shipton, who was making a welcome comeback from a recent injury, with Anderson in third and the first of the MX2 riders. Then it was Ryan Houghton, Irwin, Kristian Whatley and Gilbert the second MX2 and with Nicholls back in ninth and buried in the pack.
In the next three laps Anderson slipped to eighth place while Irwin stormed to second and started to close on the leader Banks-Browne as Nicholls was being patient with his overtaking moves but was moving forward lap after lap. Shipton’s race came to end on lap four when he picked up a puncture and gave the third place to Houghton.
On lap five Whatley started to slip down the running order from sixth to cross the finish line in 23rd. He didn’t go out in the second race.
With six laps to go Irwin took the lead and went on to win the first pro race of the day with Banks-Browne holding on to second place with Houghton a fine third. Nicholls passed his team mate Gilbert, though the race in different classes for a fourth place and with that he had enough points to be champion. Gilbert crossed the finish line in fifth but was the first MX2 rider with Anderson just behind him in sixth. Liam Knight, after gating 13th was seventh with Josh Spinks just behind him.
Irwin got the holeshot at the start of the second race and was never really challenged on his way to his second win of the day. Shipton had had another good start in second but five laps in to the race he dropped back to a comfortable fifth place while Houghton took over his second place in the race that gave him second overall.
Nicholls, the new champion, was third and just missed out on the podium while Banks-Browne followed him over the finish line was third overall.
In the MX2 side of the race Anderson and Gilbert had gated together in seventh and eighth but at the halfway stage Gilbert passed Anderson on one of the downhill sections but Ando was having none of that and came back at the youngster as the pair spent the next couple of laps in a wheel to wheel battle for the lead of the MX2. Gilbert worked out that he didn’t have to win the race to become this year’s pro MX2 champion, all he had to do was to follow Anderson over the finish line. The ever-improving Josh Spinks with a pair of strong third places was third overall with Lewis Tombs just missing out on the podium.
Overall in the pro MX1 it was Irwin from Houghton, Banks-Browne and Nicholls while in the final championship standing Nicholls was the winner by 29 points from Banks-Browne and Houghton with Krestinov fourth.
In the pro MX2s it was Anderson from Gilbert, Spinks and Tombs on the weekend but in the championship, it was Gilbert by eight from Anderson, Tombs and Taylor Hammal.
“The aim for me and the team this year was to win the Maxxis and this championship and this is the first one ticked off,” said a happy new pro MX1 champion Nicholls. “I have never won a championship before in my life, so this is great. Even when I raced schoolboys I didn’t win a championship though I was close and number of times. Thinking about it I may have won a Norfolk and Suffolk schoolboy championship. This is good for the team and I do enjoy racing this series a lot and I think it’s going to get bigger and better and one day rival the Maxxis which will be good.”
Event winner Irwin said: “We have had so much bad luck this year it’s nice to race to two wins and the overall. It has been a challenging and testing year but don’t get me wrong, we build from that adversity for every time we get knocked down we just want to get back up and try harder. The first race wasn’t that easy as I had to make my way up from seventh for the win. In the second race Elliott made a mistake on the first lap and I took the lead and the win. I love racing this track and Justin has made it first class.”
Gilbert the new MX2 champion said just moments after crossing the finish line, “It feels great to be champion as the last championship I won was back in 2014 when I was riding as a schoolboy. In the second race Brad was holding me up a bit to be honest so I was cruising behind him as I didn’t want to get to involved and end up on the deck, so I hung back and let him take the race win.”
Overall MX2 winner Anderson said, “Losing this championship was my own fault really after a big crash at Canada Heights where I only scored a couple of points and scoring no points at Sherwood after I pulled off the track. But fair play to Josh he a good strong rider and an up and coming kid that will do really well in the future.
“In the first race it was a tough as I took too long to find all the fast lines and by that time he was gone. In the second I just had to beat him and hope that something happened to his bike. It was a good race as we were both going for it for a while but it’s a challenging track and it was good racing.”
With three race wins and a second place Ryan Crowder was in complete control of the experts MX1 with Edward Briscoe and Steve Bixby filling the other stops of the winner’s podium. In the final championship positions Richard Bird, who only competed on Sunday, is the champion by 108 points over Briscoe and Brad Cavill.
Jamie Wainwright didn’t finish out of the top three all weekend and with two race wins also to his credit took the expert MX2 overall from Rossi Beard and Ryan McClean. But in the championship, Jason Meara was already the champion with a round in hand and didn’t make the expensive trip over from Northern Ireland to compete. McClean’s score confirmed his second place with Ben Clark third.
Aiden Christie and Harry Fletcher shared the wins in the clubman class with Christie taking the overall from Fletcher by just four points with Ashley Watt a distant third, but in the championship Christie’s win made him this year’s champion by 13 points from Fletcher with Guy Prince third.
The clubman MX2s produced three different race winner but race one winner Jorden Moxey backed up his win with three second places for the overall from two race winner Alex Hamer and Charlie Razzell. But in the championship Harry Foster, who didn’t have the best of weekends was the champion from Fabio Rizzi and Brad Thornhill.
With three race wins and a fifth Aaron-Lee Hanson took the overall in the MXY2s from Kacey Hird and Denny Rapson but in the final championship standing Callum Green was the champion from Rapson and Hanson.
Joel Rizzi was already this year’s champion in the MXY125 before racing even started but that didn’t stop Rizzi going out and winning all four races. Sam Price and Bobby Bruce were second and third and where only separated by a single point. Bruce was second in the championship with Price third.
With three race wins and a third Charlie Hayman was the overall winner in the big wheel 85s from Sam Atkinson and Ethan Sills but in the championship, Ryan Mawhinney had already won the championship and chose not to race the final round. Callum Baldwin was second with Jack Grayson third.
Wal Shane Beaney, with three wins and a second place, won the small wheel 85s from Ollie Colmer and Jake Randall while in the championship Colmer is champion by 124 points over Boston Gilbert and Charlie Reynolds.
1 Graeme Irwin 25 + 25 = 50
2 Ryan Houghton 20 + 22 = 42
3 Elliott Banks-Browne 22 + 18 = 40
4 Jake Nicholls 18 + 20 = 38
5 Liam Knight 16 + 15 = 31
6 Carlton Husband 14 + 14 = 28
7 Gert Krestinov 15 + 12 = 27
8 Jamie Law 13 + 13 = 26
9 Matt Burrows 11 + 11 = 22
10 Jake Shipton 0 + 16 = 16
1 Brad Anderson 22 + 25 = 47
2 Josh Gilbert 25 + 22 = 47
3 Josh Spinks 20 + 20 = 40
4 Lewis Tombs 18 + 16 = 34
5 Ashton Dickinson 15 + 18 = 33
6 Jack Brunell 12 + 15 = 27
7 Jordan Booker 14 + 12 = 26
8 Taylor Hammal 13 + 11 = 24
9 Brad Todd 16 + 5 = 21
10 Alexander Brown 7 + 13 = 20
1 Ryan Crowder 25 + 25 + 25 + 22 = 97
2 Edward Briscoe 20 + 20 + 12 + 20 = 72
3 Steve Bixby 22 + 18 + 6 + 18 = 64
4 Josh Bentley 15 + 16 + 15 + 16 = 62
5 Aaron McCarroll 16 + 11 + 18 + 15 = 60
6 Luke Sturgeon 18 + 12 + 16 + 14 = 60
1 Jamie Wainwright 20 + 25 + 25 + 22 = 92
2 Rossi Beard 25 + 18 + 20 + 25 = 88
3 Ryan McClean 22 + 20 + 15 + 20 = 77
4 Ben Franklin 16 + 14 + 22 + 18 = 70
5 Ben Clark 14 + 16 + 18 + 16 = 64
6 Charlie Putman 18 + 22 + 4 + 15 = 59
1 Aiden Christie 22 + 25 + 22 + 25 = 94
2 Harry Fletcher 25 + 22 + 25 + 18 = 90
3 Ashley Watt 18 + 20 + 18 + 16 = 72
4 Alex Christopher 16 + 18 + 15 + 20 = 69
5 Joe Roberts 20 + 0 + 20 + 22 = 62
6 Michael Green 15 + 15 + 16 + 13 = 59
1 Jordan Moxey 25 + 22 + 22 + 22 = 91
2 Alex Hamer 16 + 25 + 20 + 25 = 86
3 Charlie Razzell 12 + 20 + 25 + 18 = 75
4 Brad Thornhill 22 + 18 + 16 + 16 = 72
5 Tony Cadman 18 + 16 + 12 + 13 = 59
6 Fabio Rizzi 20 + 15 + 0 + 20 = 55
1 Aaron-Lee Hanson 25 + 25 + 16 + 25 = 91
2 Kacey Hird 16 + 18 + 25 + 20 = 79
3 Denny Rapson 22 + 16 + 18 + 22 = 78
4 Callum Green 20 + 20 + 22 + 0 = 62
5 Ryan Allison 18 + 22 + 20 + 0 = 60
6 Aaron Patstone 13 + 12 + 15 + 16 = 56
1 Joel Rizzi 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100
2 Sam Price 20 + 18 + 20 + 22 = 80
3 Bobby Bruce 22 + 22 + 22 + 13 = 79
4 Louie Kessell 16 + 16 + 18 + 20 = 70
5 Ben Clark 12 + 15 + 15 + 16 = 58
6 Ollie Cole 13 + 13 + 12 + 18 = 56
Big wheel 85:
1 Charlie Hayman 25 + 25 + 25 = 20 = 95
2 Sam Atkinson 22 + 20 + 22 + 25 = 89
3 Ethan Sills 18 + 22 + 14 + 18 = 72
4 Trystan Williams 20 + 16 + 20 + 15 = 71
5 Callum Baldwin 15 + 18 + 15 + 22 = 70
6 Thomas Harris 16 + 11 + 16 + 16 = 59