With lockdown restrictions easing and a full motocross schedule all over the UK, there were bound to be a few clashes for race organisers to deal with. The ScotMX Championship, powered by Milwaukee, had a strong rider turn out at Lochgilphead to make sure the series is still the one to win. The old school hard pack track at Achnashelloch Farm, Lochgilphead has seen many fast and furious race meetings in years gone by and this weekend was no different. To win any championship, riders need to demonstrate their skills across a varied style of tracks and this would show who could ride hard pack after the deep sand of Tain at round 1. Lochgilphead is a few miles from the famous Kilmartin Track which saw the 250 Grand Prix visit in 1978. Located near the old iron age Dundadd Fort, the seat of Gaelic Kings (500-800AD), we would see who would be crowned King for a day as the riders would do battle.
The weather was favourable as the sun shone all weekend and the track conditions were perfect, credit to owner Stewart Campbell and his clan who worked hard to get it prepped. Stuart Flockhart and his ScotMX team, with the support of his growing list of sponsors pulled off yet another an amazing weekend
Traditionally, the Saturday is day is all about the kids with an Adult support class making up the days race schedule.
With three races on the Saturday and only the one on the Sunday, the Auto’s were the first up to get the meeting rolling.
Zak Hendry got out the gate fast and won all his races easily. He grabbed the AMD hole-shots and disappeared in each race. The next four riders would provide some great close racing as they all challenged for podium places and the were hard fought and well earned. The much improved Ivan Williamson would get a quick start and bag two thirds but it was not enough to beat Tucker Moffat and Lyall Rutherford and would secure the podiums with consistent riding. Although Caleb Shearer had a third in the first race, a poor finish in race 2 would result in an overall 5th. Harris Curran had a good weekend and rode steadily to round out the top 6.
It was Robbie Scott that would win the battle of the 65’s but Malachi Allan pushed him all the way. Robbie had a faultless Saturday with three wins but Malachi showed he had the pace on the Sunday as he dominated the 4th race with a clear win. Kyle Graham, Kian McGill and Jamie McKee had some close racing, changing places throughout the weekend but Kyle’s consistent finishes earned him a well deserved podium. Kian edged 4th ahead of Jamie as he showed early promise with a 3rd in the first race. Hayden Gibson had a poor finish in the 1st race and it would limit what could do for the overall over the weekend but he did secure 6th.
The SW and BW always provide some of the closest racing over the weekend as the SW do their best to mix it with their BW counterparts. There’s a lot at of pride at stake as the youngsters fight to show who’s boss.
There was a great battle between two young Scottish and Irish riders as Jaden Anderson tried everything to beat Lewis Spratt. The pair did their best to entertain and it would be Lewis who won the overall as three race wins showed he had the speed and the consistency to edge Jaden. Alfie Stott’s two thirds was enough to ease the last podium but James McGowan and Checoby Rainey would keep him honest. Robbie Pearce had a solid weekend to finish 6th overall.
Jack Fletcher dominated in true style. He would hole-shot and gap the field in every race. Benas Blazevicius would do his best to push Jack as he did enough to stay clear of Ryan McKinney who’s second and two thirds was just not enough to grab second. Troy Flockhart and Ryan McKinney had some real close battles throughout the weekend with Troy’s amazing whips over the table tops providing some jaw dropping moments but he just missed out on a podium. Guy McDonald and Ewen McPherson would have their own battles to finish out the top 6 but Harrison Byers was unlucky to miss out on the placings as he finished on the same points as Ewan. There was a notable first outing for #27 Harry Nunn who bagged overall 10th in his very first race meeting.
The rookies race never disappoints. As the young guns battle it out for places, the results are never predictable. Charley Irwin’s 5th in race 1 was not enough to dent his overall 1st place as his smooth consistent riding resulted in three first places. Ayden Smith’s first race crash on the start straight would mean he had to ride like a demon through the pack and he managed to get back to 4th but his three second places would ultimately mean runner up. Marley Nelson had a great weekend as he grabbed the hole-shot in race 1 and battled with Logan Ferguson but Logan would secure the win. The pair would swap places throughout the weekend with Marley coming out on top for the final podium place as Logan narrowly missed out. Calum Moore and Ryan Lowes weren’t too far behind the front runners as they pushed each other for top six places. Tony McCann missed out on a top 6 with a DNF in the final race.
There was a good mix of riders in the Adult support race. No championship to worry about, just some good old fashioned racing. Reece Dawson and Ewan Kermack would battle it out in the first race for the win but Adam Slavin would dominate the other races. There was only 1 second between the six riders so it was hard fought at times. Toby Lightbrown and Ivan Williamson had their moments, as did Jordan Kerr and Lewis Campbell who was not far away. Dylan Grieve had a run out to bed himself in for Sunday’s racing but a bike issue would mean he would need to save it for Sunday.
The main race day is Siunday for the ScotMX Championship, Powered by Milwaukee which attracts some of the top talent in the country. As well as all the great youths that raced on the Saturday, it was the turn of the Adults to see who would be crowned winners. With the prospect of Martin Barr (MX1) and Lewis Hall (MX2) travelling from Northern Ireland and England respectively, they would be banging bars with some of Scotland’s finest.
Vets 40,50 and 60
Sean Doherty was on hand to provide some entertaining commentary as he jokingly shouted over the public address system for the Vets to be woken from their slumber and get to the gate. No slouch himself, Shaun is more than qualified to commentate on the riders abilities as he rode at the top level of Scottish Motocross for many years.
In the o40’s and overall race, Lewis Farrow left the rest for dead and he literally disappeared in all three races. Alan Deans did enough ahead of Irishman Paul Carey who pushed hard but small mistakes cost him the 2nd place. Tony “Mad Dog” Whitelaw rode like his nickname and with some determined riding and showed why he deserved the top step ahead of Graham Anderson and Ian Wilson in the o50’s. Douglas Garrick was a lonely figure in the o60’s as he was the only rider.
Gary Lockyer won all three races and set out his stall by grabbing hole-shot in the first race and pushed hard but he didn’t make it easy for himself in the last race as he had to ride through the pack after a first corner tangle. There was some real carnage in the second race as a mid pack crash caused many riders to DNF, two of the riders being seriously injured. The racing was suspended whilst the emergency services made sure the riders were attended to. After the break, racing resumed, and Lewis Fleming would ride for a second overall as he managed to stay ahead of William Anderson and Jordan Aitchison. Although William got the third race hole-shot, he couldn’t maintain the pace and ran out overall fourth behind Jordan. Scott Forsyth and Darren Wilkinson were in the mix and rounded out the top six with some solid riding and only 1 point between them.
Josh Gray put a forgettable round 1 at Tain behind him and showed his true potential by winning all three races from the hole-shot. He ripped his 2 stroke KTM round the track and looked like he was having fun as he pulled whips with ease over the jumps. Niall McAulley was not too far behind as he rode within a second of Josh in the first race but Dylan Grieve would beat him into third. In the second race Niall finished ahead of the improved Myles Reid who would’ve placed higher this weekend if not for a first corner slide as he picked himself off the deck shaking his head. Dylan did enough to get the last podium after Niall even with a poor second race as Toby Lightbrown pushed for the podium place but just missed out after a challenging third race. Ryan Garthwaite stayed ahead of Myles Reid for the fifth place as Myles top six was a mild consolation for what could’ve been.
The premier race of the day had the MX1 and MX2 pit their wits and hard pack skills against each other in the joint race. Martin Barr was looking to build on his recent outings and get more bike time working towards full fitness. The track would be a stern test of that.
Tony Craig pushed Barr all the way in qualifying as the Irishman grabbed to pole by 0.1 of a second. The luckless Craig however left the track at one point and smashed his bike into a boulder which wrecked his bike meaning he had to borrow a spare from one of his friends. With Ben Edwards posting some fast times, and the next top seven riders within a few seconds, it would result in some fearsome racing.
Tony Craig blasted out of the furthest gate and narrowly grabbed the hole-shot in race 1 on a borrowed 450, but it wasn’t long before Martin Barr settled into his usual front running race winning position by lapping fast and consistently. Craig pushed hard every lap to stay in contention and he was right there until the second last lap when Ross “Bunga” Rutherford who had been tailing the leaders took Craig and finished second. Ben Edwards worked hard all race and got passed Kyle McNicol and Jordan McCaw before he got in front of Craig for the final top 3 spot in race 1. With McNicol finishing first in MX2, Lewis Hall was only 2s behind. Steven Craig would round out the top 3 in the first MX2 race.
The second race was delayed due to the earlier suspension of racing. As a result, the races were being shortened by 5 mins and Martin Barr wasted no time is blasting out front and gapping the field. Lewis Hall meantime battled from 6th to third just as Barr went down hard at the top of the track as he came round a corner and lost his front end. This ended his race and his weekend as he suffered a nasty cut on his forearm and a shoulder injury. As a result of Barr’s misfortune, Ben Edwards was now running first after having already maintaining second the whole race ahead of Bunga, who had McCaw and McNicol battling behind him. Lewis Hall relished the chance of the overall race win as he managed to dive in front of Edwards to get the race win and 1st in MX2. Ben although second in the race would win the MX1 with Bunga 2nd and McCaw getting 3rd. The next two MX2 places went to McNicol and Steven Craig respectively.
With the chance of the overall win in MX1, Ben Edwards was taking no chances in race three as he blasted to the front and stayed there for the overall MX1 for the weekend. With no Tony Craig to push him in this race due to a DNF in the second and no bike for the third race, it was down to Ryan MacLean to show he still had race pace. A big crash earlier in the day had seen him fly over the bars and bang him up but he still had enough to finish second. McCaw and McNicol would continue their battle, albeit MX1 vs MX2 but very entertaining for the crowd who had stayed in numbers to watch the final race of the day. Bunga, never to be underestimated, had done enough to secure the overall second in MX1. After some hard fought racing, the Irishman Jordan McCaw secured the final podium in MX1 as Ryan MacLean missed out by 1 point after improving throughout the day. His knee was like a football as he collected his prize money but he’ll bounce back. It was a tough day for Martin Barr and Tony Craig for different reasons but here’s hoping they’re back for round 3 to renew the battle.
MX2 was decided in race three as Lewis Hall’s second place made sure he beat Kyle McNicol to the top step. Lewis grew up riding hard pack at his local track and this had paid dividends. Nice to see his hard work rewarded. It was also a confidence building weekend for McNicol as he relished mixing it with the bigger MX1 bikes. A well deserved podium for Steven Craig as a change of bike has meant a change of fortune for him.
Round 3 of the ScotMX Scottish Championship, Powered by Milwaukee will be held at Doune nr Stirling, over the weekends of 10th / 17th July
Go to www.scotmx.com for entries. Report by Raymond Thomson / madmaxmedia