By Dick Law. Former professional downhill bike racer Rob Warner went back his his first love of motorcycles and snared a fantastic third place in the the annual Sudbury club’s extreme enduro. Riding a two-stroke Yamaha YZ125, the TV commentator – who made a trip to the event as he was told his pal Jake Nicholls was going to ride – was in contention right from the start in the muddy event but finished a lap down on the winner.
Warner said: “I started riding a trials bike before I went to mountain bike riding and it’s been about ten years since I raced a motorcycle. I rode the last round of the British enduro championship the other month and thought I would give this a go. Jake Nicholls said he was going to ride this today but he hasn’t turned up! What a flower! Anyway, I loved it. I was just right, not to hard you couldn’t get through it but hard enough to make you work hard to finish.”
For the third year running Charlie Frost and his KTM made the long trip from his home in Devon to take part and for the third time in a row he annihilated the opposition for the win.
The hard-working club had done a tremendous job building the course at their Foxborough quarry venue which was a true test of man and machine but overnight rain had made the paddock and parts of the track like a scene from a WW1 battle field.
The 50 riders had a dead engine Le Mans-type start with the advantage going to those with electric starts. But as the riders came back in to view at the end of the opening lap, Ben Wibberley led from Frost, Rob Warner and his screaming Yamaha, Stevie Roper, and Jack Barwick. Then came the rest with many just seeming to throw their machines at the obstacles in an effort to complete the lap.
From then on Frost just kept up a strong fast pace with a style that made it look almost easy, completing 12 laps in the two-hour race.
“This has been the hardest race by far in the three times I have ridden it” said a happy Frost moments after crossing the finish line. “I just couldn’t get any grip out there and there were deep ruts all over the place plus backmarkers getting in the way – it was quite an event. But this is a good way to head into the new year and makes the three-and-a-half-hour drive for me worthwhile.
“The first part of the race we all stayed together but then stamina came into play and I was able to pull away from the rest, but it was a very hard event.”
Wibberley was second, a lap down on the winner with Warner third on the same lap. Roper and Barwick did nine laps each to finish fourth and fifth and were the last of the Pro riders.
Jason Pearce won the expert class with seven laps, one lap clear of Carl Venter and Barney Thurgood.
Stuart Bridges struggled round for six laps to win the clubman class with James Parker second and on the same lap.
One of the best rides of the day came from Paul Nash, riding a trials bike, as he completed five laps which would have seen him forth in the experts despite a pit-stop at the end of the first lap to take off his waterproof jacket and trousers that his wife told him he wouldn’t need to wear.
1 Charlie Frost 12 laps
2 Ben Wibberley 11
3 Rob Warner 11
4 Stevie Roper 9
5 Jack Barwick 9
1 Jason Pearce 7 laps
2 Carl Venter 6
3 Barney Thurgood 6
4 Ryan McDonnell 5
5 Josh Kirby 4
1 Stuart Bridges 6 laps
2 James Barker 5
3 William Packer 5
4 Alfie Coles 5
5 Daniel Hunt 5
Trials bike class:
1 Paul Nash 5 laps
2 Jason Green 5
3 Jeremy Moss 4
4 Paul Owen 2
5 Stephen Smith 1