The ScotMX Scottish Championship, powered by Milwaukee, has seen some fantastic racing this season so far and the third meeting at Doune brought a slight change in format. As ever, the meeting is spread over 2 days but this would be done over 2 weekends. Undaunted by this, the riders turned out in droves to make the most of the prospect of riding one of Scotland’s top tracks. Doune MX is run by Scott Gardner, former British Motocross Championship rider and owner of Planet Advanced Racing Suspension. The track is normally open Weds/Sat and Saturday would see a fair number of regular riders to Doune MX relish racing their favourite track. The attraction was so strong, some of these riders would be turning out for their first ever MX race, testament to getting great track preparation and the ScotMX format.
The weather turned out to be perfect as overnight rain made for prime track conditions. Scott Gardner had the tracked well prepared in advance and the bright periods of sunshine were not enough to impact the soil. As ever, Stuart Flockhart and his ScotMX team, with the support of his sponsors, pulled off yet another amazing action packed race day. With an extra block of racing to accommodate the one day format, the team would make sure the meeting ran flawlessly. The racing started at 10:30 and ran non-stop through to 17:30 without any break, 23 races kept everyone involved busy, but it would be worth the effort.
Saturday 10th July
With the meeting being spread over two weekends, the first day was focused on the kids with an Adult support class making up the days race schedule. Saturday’s format was tweaked to fit in the regular 3 races plus the 4th race (normally run on day 2) being run as a shortened sprint race.
The Auto’s would kick off and close out the days racing. The track would test the skills of these budding riders and provide some entertaining races.
Having led the previous two rounds Zak Hendry would have his work cut out. Lyall Rutherford grabbed the fastest lap in qualifying and the first AMD hole-shot of the day. He led the first lap until Zak Hendry would pass him but undaunted, Lyall got him back on lap 2 and stayed in front for the rest of the race much to the joy and relief of his parents who were trackside. Caleb Shearer managed to push through from 7th to 3rd as he battled passed the usual suspects. Normal service was resumed in Race 2 as Zak Hendry would lead the pack for the entire race. The top 5 riders would place without change for the entire race as Tucker Moffat just managed to stay in front of Lyall Rutherford. Caleb Shearer was a lonely figure in 4th as Cole McAuley and Josh Alexander rounded out the top 6. Race 3 would see Josh Alexander fly off the start and bag the AMD hole-shot as the diminutive rider showed his potential but he would slip back to 5th before securing a final 4th. Lyall Rutherford would maintain his solid riding to finish 2nd as Ivan Williamson had a good race coming from 5th up to 3rd. The final race would be a 3 lap dash round the track and the racing was frantic as the top 6 would battle it out for the final placings. With all to play for, Zak Hendry had it sown up with his 3rd win as Lyall Rutherford had his best result of the series with an overall second. Tucker Moffat secured the final podium. Ivan Williamson’s 3rd and 4th in the last two races meant he had done enough to beat Josh Alexander by 2 points and he finished 5th. Cole McAuley narrowly missed out on 6th after some solid riding.
Robbie Scott and Malachi Allan would continue where they left off at the last round with Robbie qualifying 1st, where he finished at Lochgilphead. Although Robbie had the fastest lap in qualifying, it would be Malachi who reigned supreme as his 4 race wins secured the top spot. Robbie was a distant second in the first race but would pull within 2 seconds in the second. With qualifying times placing the next 5 riders within one second, the third and fourth races were not quite as close but Robbie stayed well ahead of Kyle Graham all day as the plucky Irish lad secured the final podium with three 4ths and a final 3rd place to beat Ricky Barrack. Ricky had started off the day with two comfortable thirds before dropping from 4th to 6th in race 3. A 5th in race 4 was not enough to beat the solid riding of Kyle Graham. Hayden Gibson improved in the last two races to place third and fourth and this was enough for the overall 5th narrowly behind Ricky by 1 point. Ryan Jackson had a comfortable day with the final top 6 position.
Normally, the 85’s would race together but with such a large entry, they were split into their own races. This would make for some great racing as the riders would know exactly what positions they were riding for and make them push for places.
There was a real three way battle for the podium as Rhys Whyment’s welcome return to racing after injury would see him mixing it with the very fast Lewis Spratt from Northern Ireland and Jaden Anderson who would push Lewis all day. The first race set the tone for the day as the top three youngsters would swap places until Lewis Spratt would come out on top. His distinctive Yamaha and red race kit stood out as he dropped to 3rd but would push passed Rhys and Jaden for the win. It was Jaden who blasted out front in the second race with the AMD hole-shot but after he toppled at a tight left hand corner on the second lap, it dropped him to 7th before he was able to charge back to 3rd. Rhys ran into Jaden after he’d fallen but was able to recover quicker and maintain position to finished second. Lewis Spratt would take the race win getting past Jaden and Rhys but it was not enough for the overall as Rhys showed his pre-season injury has not dented his speed. His two 2nd and two 1st places gave him a 2 point win over Lewis Spratt. Jaden Anderson’s last race dash to second was enough to relegate Lewis to second overall as Rhys Whyment would ultimately benefit and Jaden secured enough points for his own podium. Jay Bakers steady riding was enough to secure fourth overall as James Lindsay’s first race after a two year break was only spoiled by a poor result in the 2nd race. His three 4ths could only secure the 5th spot but showed he has a lot more to come as he ran with the top three at times. James McGowan’s four 7th places was enough to get him the final top 6 place.
Jack Fletcher’s qualifying and race times would have potentially placed him in the top three in the Rookies class. It’s no surprise then that he would take the overall with four race wins as he would turn AMD hole-shots into race wins. It wasn’t all quite as easy for Jack though as he did have a first corner crash and end up almost dead last in race three but he stormed through the entire field within a few laps to secure the win. Troy Flockhart would benefit from mistakes by Ryan McKinney and Benas Blazevicius as his well deserved overall second was made possible by two race second places. Ryan McKinney got caught up in a first corner pile up in one of the races which had him flying through the field to get the single point he needed to beat Benas into fourth overall. Benas did have a second and a third but his two 6th places in the first two races didn’t help his overall. Reilly McKenzie, a Doune regular, was rewarded with consistent riding as he managed to stay ahead of Ryan Haddow who was unlucky not to place higher as he had started the first two races with two thirds but a huge crash in race three put him back to 9th and a first corner crash in the last race only gave him three laps to recover from dead last to 6th. Undaunted by this, he was happy with the final top 6 place.
There’s always a certain buzz when the rookies line up as their desperation to win is felt by everyone spectating. Qualifying would see 5s between the top 5 and only 2s between the next 8 riders. With Ayden Smith posting the fastest lap in qualifying by over 1 second to Braydon Ferguson, would the local track knowledge be enough to beat the fast Englishman who looked like he meant business. With 37 riders on the line, there would be no shortage of thrills and spills.
The growl from Braydon’s Yamaha sounded menacing as he breezed the first race but he wouldn’t have it so easy the rest of the day. Ayden Smith, no stranger to Doune, would squeeze every ounce of power out of his two stroke KTM to secure race wins in the second and third races as a first corner pile up would demote Braydon down to 26th. He would have to fight through the pack to get an 8th place. Similarly in race 3, Braydon would drop to 7th before running behind Lee Cameron for the 4th place. Ayden had one of his better days as two 2nd and two well deserved 1st places secured the overall by a good margin over Charley Irwin, who’s day got better with each race. Charley had the clean sweep bagging all four top positions with a 3,4,2,1. It was a much better meeting for Lee Cameron as well as he put the disappointment of the last round behind him and got the final podium. Lee had a great second race finishing behind Ayden and he followed it up with a strong third in the 3rd race. Never finishing out of the top 4 means he got what he deserved. Kyle Peel’s third in the second race was enough to sneak the fourth ahead of Logan Ferguson who had battled all day with Kyle and Marley Nelson for the top 6. Louis McRae managed to spoil Marley’s chances of the top 6 as he made the final top 6 with some inspired riding. It was Louis his first ever race meeting and he showed that riding Doune MX weekly for the last few years had paid dividends as he even grabbed an AMD hole-shot, led a race, finished third and the last race and threw some sick whips into the bargain. Braydon cut short his day and missed the final race as he headed back south which meant he wouldn’t would realise the early potential.
The adult support brings out a varied range of talent from young guns to seasoned vets. There were a few top MX1 and MX2 riders from previous rounds that fancied getting in some practice for next weeks race and it would be Tony Craig who would come out on top over the three races. George Simmutch tried his best to spoil Tony’s day as he grabbed the AMD hole-shots but couldn’t turn them into the overall win as Tony would bide his time and make the pass when it counted. George had to pick himself up after a couple of crashes as did Tony Craig in the second race as he crashed whilst leading and let George gap him as he desperately tried to make it the clean sweep. Ben Kennedy pushed hard and with two thirds and a second, he was well placed for any mishaps from the fast pair in front of him. Steve Craig continued his solid riding from the last round and three 4ths was enough to bag the overall fourth as he dialled in his Honda. Aidan Christie and Adam Slavin would round out the top 6 as they tried their best to catch Steve. Slavin had the harder task as he battled through the pack from 12th to 6th in race 1. Jack Winthrop made a solid return to racing after his recent battle with Covid meant he has missed out and he will need to get in some bike time to get back to full fitness.
Round 3 of the ScotMX Scottish Championship, Powered by Milwaukee will continue this weekend at Doune nr Stirling on Saturday 17th July including the first ever running of the Super Mini Cup allowing 10-14 yr old riders the chance to compete together in the American styled class allowing for the increased engine size of up to 112cc. They will also be battling for the same prize money that will be awarded to the MX1 and MX2 ScotMX pro’s.
Go to www.scotmx.com for entries
By Raymond Thomson / madmaxmedia