Shaun Simpson took another double win in the Foxhill Maxxis British championship round, the penultimate round of the series. But Tommy Searle, who started the day 49 points in front but with a broken hand, rode wisely to take third overall.
It means he only needs a single fifth place finish at the final round at Landrake next month to take the title, even if Simpson wins both motos.
Searle said: “It’s been damage limitation today. Pretty much like I’ve been riding for the last six weeks!” The Kawasaki man, who rode through the pain barrier at the Blaxhall round, then arrived at the Hawkstone round with a rib injury then broke a bone in his hand a little over a week before Foxhill. He tried to race in the Belgian GP at Lommel last week but the pain was too much.
At Foxhill, Searle was not on his top form due to the injury, although he ran near the front in moto one before dropping back to fifth place. Second time out Searle breifly led but soon was demoted by Simpson who once again romped away to an easy win.
KTM man Simpson muscled his way through to the lead in the first race after clashing with Eliott Banks-Browne who fell on a new section of the much-revamped track. Elliott got back on to finish eighth in that race as Simpson reeled in race leader Harri Kullas and pulled a gap to take the win, with a fastest lap almost two seconds quicker than anyone else on the circuit. He would have pulled away even further but the race was red flagged due to Aidan Wigger crashing hard. He later walked back to the paddock with his arm strapped up.
Husky’s Jake Millward took a fine third place behind Kullas, with KTM’s Mel Pocock on his tail after he had demoted Searle.
In the second moto, Sealre snatched the holeshot from Millward with Elliott Banks-Browne and Simpson right on their heels as Kullas got tangled up going into the first tight right-hand hairpin.
Simpson soon moved into the lead and began to pull away, as Searle held second but was stalked then passed by Banks-Browne who held on for a fine second place. Pocock rode hard for third, while Kullas charged through to fourth place after demoting Jake Millward. That result gave Simpson the overall from Kullas with Searle on the podium again.
Honda’s Jake Nicholls didn’t make the racing after hurting his leg in qualifying, when he jabbed it into the ground to save a potential crash. It as the same leg that he hurt last year and kept him off the bike for 10 months, so he went to hospital for checks. No breaks or serious damage was found.
In the MX2 class, it was once again a Revo Husky one-two with red plate holder Dylan Walsh winning the opener from his team-mate Alvin Ostlund then repeating the feat in race two by the narrowest of margins.
But they didn’t have it all their own way, as in the opener Honda’s Josh Gilbert had a decent start and worked his way to third. He then put on a charge and led twice, with little mistakes costing him his shot at the win. It was a stirring race that had the crowd on their feet as the battle lasted right until the last lap. Yamaha’s Martin Barr took a distant fourth place, with a big gap behind him to Hitachi KTM’s new rider Michael Sandner then Ashton Dickinson and Tom Grimshaw.
In the second moto, the Husky men again slugged it out for the lead while Gilbert, the only rider on the pace, crashed on the first lap. He tried to dive under Dickinson but they made contact and both fell. Gilbert was trapped under his bike, leaving him with burns on his shoulder. To make maters worse, angry Dickinson gave him a couple of slaps on his helmet.
Gilbert remounted and put on a thrilling ride through the pack, picking off rider at a time as he took a fine fourth place on the final lap, one spot behind Barr.
It means Gilbert and Barr tied on points but the Yamaha man’s second race third gave him the final place on the podium. Going into the final round, Walsh has an 18-point lead over Ostlund with Gilbert third, 28 points further back with 50 up for grabs.
In the depleted MXY2 youth class, Joel Rizzi took his two-stroke KTM to victory again, gifted the win in the opening moto when leader and arch rival Ike Carter fell while in the lead. Carter got back on and finished fourth, behind Rizzi, Tom Murphy and Josh Peters.
Second time out Carter won from Rizzi and Murphy in a race which saw just 14 finishers from 15 starters. It gave Rizzi another overall win from Carter and Murphy.