A horrific high-speed crash that wiped out more than half a dozen of the top men in the first corner of the opening MX1 race may have been the unfortunate incident that marred the Blaxhall British champions round, but going down hard didn’t stop Tommy Searle bouncing back to take the overall win and lead in the championship.
Searle, red plate holder Shaun Simpson and third-places man in the championship, Lewis Tombs, all hit the ground hard in the fast right-hander, which caused a concertina effect that saw many riders go down and be catapulted into the trackside fence and the trees beyond it.
Worse hit was Yamaha’s Ryan Houghton, who was airlifted to hospital with a broken thigh bone. He was later diagnosed with broken bones in his neck, which fortunately should heal naturally and cause no permanent damage, claims his team.
Simpson had to have his shoulder put back in trackside and fears he may have broken his hand, while Tombs pulled out with a broken hand and went to hospital. He may have to have surgery this week.
Battered and bruised, Simpson and Searle made their way out for the restart but obviously all was not right. Searle could hardly lift his arms up yet still went out for the restarted race, but was obviously not attacking the track like normal. Simpson was even more obviously affected by the dislocation, and bravely rode through the pain to save as many points as he could.
The aftermath of the crash meant the door was open for new blood to battle for the lead, and Husqvarna’s Jake Millward and Yamaha’s Jake Shipton took the chance to steal glory.
Shipton, in his first year of MX1 and full of confidence after finishing on the podium at the last round at Canada Heights, was quickly in the lead with Shipton on his tail.
Millward showed great speed and calm under pressure to fend off the constant attacks from Shipton, as he held on to take his first Maxxis win.
Third place was also a frantic affair as Searle slowly rode through the discomfort, even though he admitted he couldn’t even pull up the bars to wheelie over obstacles. He picked off Mel Pocock and Brad Anderson to take third place and even closed to gap on the leaders on the final few laps.
Ando, outpowered on his 250cc two-stroke against a field of tuned 450s, held on for a strong fourth from Pocock, Gert Krestinov and Simpson who looked to be in real discomfort.
Second time out and it looked like business as usual as Searle led from Simpson, while disaster struck Millward and Shipton. Millward went down on the second corner and damaged his clutch, retiring with a zero score and ruining his dreams of an overall win. Shipton was also at the back, and also failed to score after having bike problems following a clash with another rider. He’d worked up to seventh but bent his front end in the clash and finshed 21st.
Searle bravely held onto the lead but Simpson couldn’t hold the pace and dropped back to a fighting fourth. Harri Kullas, who failed to finish moto one, came steaming through to take second place from Krestinov. Pocock, who only started riding very recently following a nasty spill at the last round, was fourth while Ando took a stirring fifth place.
That meant Searle took the overall in with it, the red leaders plate. Krestinov ended up second overall from Anderson, with Simpson a fighting fourth.
The MX2 class also had its fair share of attrition as many of the top riders went out with machine issues at crucial times of the race. But showing total determination was Honda’s Josh Gilbert, who won the opening moto and held on for fourth second time out to take his first overall win.
He ended up a single point in front of Revo Husky’s Dylan Walsh, who took the red plate from his team-mate Alvin Ostland. Gilberts now tails Walsh by just a single point.
And it was a surprise podium result for privateer Ashton Dickinson, who led the first race before dropping back to fifth. A fifth in moto two was good enough for third overall, with Tom Gimshaw and Michael Ellis behind him.
With Conrad Mewse absent through injury, it was a prime day for his team-mate Jos Vaessen to shine. But in the opening race he was battling for a podium spot when his KTM ground to a halt with his rear brake jammed on by some rocks. He failed to score, but made amends second time out with a race win.
It was a bad day for Ostlund who led the opener until his bike gave up, handing the win to Briton Gilbert. Ostlund tailed Vaessen home in race two, in front of his team-mate Walsh and Gilbert. Walsh, who had been second in the opener, was third second time out for runner-up overall.
Martin Barr, battered after being in a car crash this week, fought hard to a strong third place in the opener but failed to finish race two, giving him 12th overall.
In the MXY2 youth class, it was all change for the top two men in terms of machines from the last round at Canada Heights. Joel Rizzi swopped his 125 for a KTM 150, and Ike Carter changed from his Husky 250F to a Yamaha YZ250F usually raced by the injured Josh Spinks in the MX2 series.
The change worked, as Carter took the overall with a second then a win. Rizzi won the opener then took third second time out for second overall. Josh Peters was third overall after two fourth places, narrowly eding out Dominic Lancett and Ryan Mawhinney.
The event also had youth 85cc races, with Sam Atlkinson taking the big-wheel class from Bailey Johnson and Charlie Palmer. In the small-wheelers, Ben Mustoe took the overall from Tyla Hooley and Ryan Waggott.
For the full results click HERE!