By Dick Law/ MotoHead
While Daniel McCanney won the battle that was the seventh and last round of the British Enduro Championship, Brad Freeman won the war with second place and became the 2017 British enduro champion to go along with his World Junior title.
Mind you at the start of the day no one would give you decant odds of Freeman and his Beta not becoming champion as he started the event with a 20-point lead over McCanney and had to finish in the top 14 to clinch he first British championship title.
A heavy frost covered the ground in Thetford forest at the 8.45am start time as the riders set off in fours for first on of five 20-mile lap which included seven special tests, three in two laps from the end of the event.
McCanney’s race didn’t start that well, he explains: “Having competed in this event a couple of times before I know you can’t give away even five seconds and hope to make it up but giving up 20 second at the start when the Husqvarna wouldn’t start seemed like a disaster. But after I had completed two of the special tests and looked at what I had claimed back I knew I could get back in the lead if I just kept it up. I won all of the tests and I think that’s pretty lucky to be fair. Brad (Freeman) has had a great year and I messed up my championship hopes at round six and did all I could today by taking the win.”
Freeman, by his own admission was riding a bit stiff and had his mind set on the championship win rather than the event win, but having said that he still set second fastest time to McCanney on each test.
“It’s been a hard event today because it was hard to concentrate as I had the championship on my mind. I have been riding these for five years now and have always did my best to win it and now I have and it’s a great feeling and I am over the moon and will be having a couple of beers tonight,” said the champ.
Third in the championship class was Alex Snow on his Buildbase Honda but he got off to a slow start and said: “I am happy with my result today but I took the first test a bit steady and thing I should have hung back a bit and let other riders go first so I could see their lines. But from then on, I was pretty constiant through the rest of the tests which I something I have been practicing recently. Coming from a motocross background you tend to treat a test as a qualifying session but here you have to do it again and again and not make a mistake. I really enjoyed myself out there today and the Diss club put on a great event and the going was just right and good for the time of year.”
Two-times Weston winner Todd Kellett was having his first go at an enduro and was learning what to do as it was happening but was getting better and better as the event unfolded. He was 12th fastest in test one but worked his way to fourth fastest which gave him fourth place overall and he only just missed out on a podium.
Another motocross rider having his first go at an enduro was Elliott Banks-Browne on a 300cc two-stroke fuel injected Husqvarna. He was having a great ride and when the seven test times were totalled up he was in fourth place and only had the two last laps to finish the event, but halfway round the last lap his bike ran out of fuel and he was seen sitting by the side of the track with his head in his hand as he went from hero to zero.
Josh Gotts set the sixth fastest test times on his TM but moved up to finish the event in fifth as Banks-Browne came to a halt and with that Joe Wootton moved up to seventh place.
In the other classes Joe Hunt won the experts from Aaron Gordon and motocross rider Jed Etchells.
Ryan Comer won the clubman class from Max Ditchfield and Allyn Taylor.
Rosie Rowett won the women class while Richard Hay was first on the vets over 40’s and with Paul Spurgeon winning the vets over 50s. Full results are on www.dissmcc.co.uk