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Parker beats Tombs in enduro thriller

Motocross-turned-enduro ace Luke Parker won Sunday’s Diss club Muntjac enduro and with it the 2018 Eastern centre enduro championship. But GH Motorcycles Husqvarna rider Parker didn’t have it all his own way as British motocross championship contender Lewis Tombs and Tom Grimshaw pushed him all the way through the long hard event deep in Thetford forest on the Suffolk Norfolk border, writes Dick Law.

Luke Parker crossed up

The club’s event is traditionally the last round of the British championship but was downgraded to a national by the ACU because it clashed with the ISDE, although the UK didn’t field an official team in the international event this year. Over 200 riders lined up in fours and set off at one-minute intervals for their trip around the woods. But with the dry weather we have been experiencing over the last months, the going was firm, and winning was always going to come down to the special tests.

Lewis Tombs was second

Parker was just two seconds faster than Tombs on the first run with Grimshaw, Henry Yardley and Aaron Gordon completing the top five fastest. It was a very similar order on the second run but sneaking into the top five at number four on the third special was Sam Nunn who at just 16 was in his first enduro and making a lovely sound as he screamed his 125 two-stroke Yamaha through the woods.

Parker set the fastest times, but only just, in five out of the six with the young Grimshaw stealing the last but one.

Stylish action from Jason Morland

With the dry conditions none of the riders in the top 15 got time check penalties so the total special test time decided the winners. That meant Parker won from Tombs, Grimshaw, Ben Clarke, Nunn and Shaun Southgate who was also having his fist go at enduro. The only rider that stood a chance of stealing the championship before the event was Jason Morland, but he had an average day by his high standards and finished 11th in the event but had already done enough throughout the rest of the rounds for second in the championship with Will Hughes third.

Sliding action from Luke Gidney

“I have only had a couple of year dabbling in enduros between motocross events” said new champion Parker. “So it’s great to get the championship even though I did miss a round when I went to Desertmartin for the Maxxis. My priorities are changing for next year as I will be riding a Gas Gas 300cc two-stroke, so that will be interesting as it’s a couple of years since I have ridden a two-stroke. We will be doing the British enduro championship, BEC and the sprint championships, and maybe some of the race’s overseas. I have a lot to learn but I am keen, and it will be interesting to see how it’s all goes.”

Craig Roper on it!

Like the championship class, there were no time penalties in the top ten of the experts, but Lewis Ranger did three fast tests for the class win and finished five second clear of Craig Norrey and championship class winner James Baker. Jack Burry was seventh on the day but second in the championship with George Eustace third.

Leg swag from Tom Grimshaw

In the expert vet class Robert Warner took the win from John Shirt and series sponsor, GH Motorcycles owner Gavin Hockey. But in the final championship standings Michael Ridge who finished fourth at the event was champion by three points from Hockey with Paul Spurgeon third.

Shaun Southgate pushing on

Charlie Chater won the clubman’s from Jack Collins and James Flannigan but in the final championship positions it was Rob Aldridge on 130 pints from Dan Hunt and George Wolfe.

In the clubman vet’s Bo Anderson took the win but fourth place man Dean Curry to the championship while in the super vet clubman Keith Readman won from Jez Moss and Gene Womack but Andy Mason took the championship from Graham Mays and Moss.

Myles Saunders at speed

Results

Championship:

1 Luke Parker (Husqvarna)

2 Lewis Tombs (Husqvarna)

3 Tom Grimshaw (Yamaha)

4 Ben Clark (KTM)

5 Aaron Gordon (Sherco)

6 Sam Nunn (Yamaha)

7 Shaun Southgate (Honda)

8 Charles Evans (Yamaha)

9 Benjamin Cole (Husqvarna)

10 Henry Yardley (KTM)

Final championship top three:

1 Luke Parker 115

2 Jason Morland 102

3 Will Hughes 87

Charles Evans in the woods

Experts:

1 Lewis Ranger (Husqvarna)

2 Craig Norrey (Gas Gas)

3 James Baker (KTM)

4 Jay Brooker (KTM)

5 Harvey Thomas (Honda)

6 James Jackman (Yamaha)

7 Jack Berry (KTM)

8 George Eustace (KTM)

9 Bruno Van Dyke (Husqvarna)

10 William Jones (Husqvarna)

Final championship top three:

1 James Barker 108

2 Jack Berry 101

3 George Eustace 76.

Henry Yardley

Expert vet:

1 Robert Warner (Yamaha)

2 John Shirt (Gas Gas)

3 Gavin Hockey (Husqvarna)

4 Michael Ridge (Yamaha)

5 Phillip Roper (KTM)

6 Paul Spurgeon (Husqvarna)

Ben Clark

7 James Holt (KTM)

8 Dave Coles (Husqvarna)

9 Lee Monger (KTM)

10 Simon Beken (KTM)

Final championship top three:

1 Michael Ridge 122

2 Gavin Hockey 119

3 Paul Spurgeon 70

Jack Berry

Clubman:

1 Charlie Chater (Yamaha)

2 Jack Collins (Yamaha)

3 James Flannigan (KTM)

4 Robert Aldridge (Honda)

5 Jake Taylor (Sherco)

6 Jack Austin (Husqvarna)

7 Lee Corbett (Husqvarna)

8 Ben Harding (KTM)

9 Paul Hanks (Husqvarna)

10 George Wolfe (Sherco)

Final championship top three:

1 Rob Aldridge 130

2 Dan Hunt 87

3 George Wolfe 75

Paul Spurgeon

Clubman vet:

1 Bo Anderson (Husqvarna)

2 Jonathan Lee (Yamaha)

3 Trevor Buckley (Husqvarna)

4 Dean Curry (KTM)

5 Carl Davies (KTM)

6 Stephen Haselden (Husqvarna)

7 Jeffrey Turner (KTM)

8 Paul Martin (Husqvarna)

9 Kevin Cowie (KTM)

10 Jason Carsboult (KTM)

Final championship top three:

1 Dean Curry 82

2 Dan Hunt 71

3 Michael Wyatt 69

James Holt

Clubman super vet:

1 Keith Readman (Yamaha)

2 Jez Moss (KTM)

3 Gene Womack (Beta)

4 Alan Ranger (Husqvarna)

5 Graham Mays (Husqvarna)

6 Graham Lazzari (KTM)

7 Gary Drage (Husqvarna)

8 Nigel Ross (KTM)

9 Robert Murfin (Husqvarna)

10 Stephen Taylor (KTM)

Final championship top three:

1 Andy Mason 102

2 Graham Mays 94

3 Jez Moss 85

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