Out on track the results went well for the guys with everybody making it through to a final of some sort whether it be an A main or scrapping for points in the B finals. Syd Allen was back to give it another go at nationals after his first run out of the year in Peckham and he had a blast in the 14s, getting in at least three turnbars per lap to fill his HT Components flat pedal quota. It was a big cut in the class with 31 entries, 15 riders were getting dropped after the moto’s but the youth with the hair made the cut and sealed the deal for a top 16 finish. He missed out on the main, but got on the gate to take 7th in the B final
Following his first national win in Peckham, Christian White was looking to keep racking up the points in the 15s and after a bit of a shaky start he smashed in some moto wins to breeze through to the semis both days. His semis were good and his first straight pull was showing through and he was through to the mains. He opted for gate 8 to get some space and do a “Maris” down the first straight. In Saturdays main he got a flyer as the gate dropped, but got a bit over zealous with the pedals through the first jump and clipped a pedal causing him to get a little squirrelly. He dug in through the pack, but had another issue on the third straight that saw him unclipped and opposite footed as he pumped through the last straight. Not a pretty site, but a 5th was a lucky escape. On Sunday he was flying, and again opted for gate 8 for the main. This time, there were no mistakes and he swept across to take the holeshot into the first berm. He was hauling, but as he went to pedal the roller on the exit it jumped up and clipped his pedal sending him rodeo style through the second straight. We’ve no idea how he held on, but it was over as the rest of the guys steamed past. Lucky not to hit the deck, it was a 7th this time.
Next on the gate was Maddie Owen-Matthews in the 15-16 girls. She was leading the point’s standings going into Blackpool and has really proved her place on the team this year with consistent results and a great attitude to the job in hand. It was all going like clockwork on day one with a safe route through to the main with second pick. The gate dropped and she was on point with the leaders when it all went a bit pear shaped as Emi Shakles got all out of shape on the inside and went down causing Maddie to have to slam on the anchors to avoid the carnage. She kept on it though and got her jump on for the fans as she styled her way to 7th. On day two, things went a little more to plan in the main as she got a solid gate and filed through the first turn in a safe 3rd. The race flowed with no issues and she held on to her podium spot to keep herself in the hunt with two rounds to go.
I seem to have got into a bit of a nasty habit of riding like a bit of a plonker in the semi on the first day of racing. Not sure what it is, but I can’t make it stick. Got a decent gate, but came out of the first berm in fifth to be B final Barry again. I redeemed myself with the win after a bit of flat out, foot out action and set my head to make it happen on the Sunday. Motos went well and I got a good pick for the semi, and opted for gate one. This time I got a good lap, made it count and took the bubble spot in 4th. Seventh pick gave me gate six but I had a plan…turn left!! Gate dropped, Ian Archibald went OTB, slowed down Chris Brant and I got a good drive and got over. The first straight was a bit of a blur, but as things settled down I was clear in 4th place and kept the flat pedals spinning to the line.
The 17-29 cruiser wins keep coming for Oli Cutmore. He only dropped two laps all weekend and even had time to try some fun manual lines I called out for him in the motos. “What about manual through the step up on the second straight, hold it on and do the double after it too?” I said to him for the third moto on the Sunday. We laughed as he went up for the race, only to see him do it first time at race speed no problem. I owe that boy a Freddo!! In the mains, he laid down some serious wattage as the rain started to fall both days to take the points and extend his already unassailable lead in the point’s standings. The Superclass was tough and even with some great moves he was out in the semis, but there’s still time to get another main or two in
Last up was Shane Redgewell in the super competitive 17-24s. There was an announcement on Saturday morning that all riders over 17 could use either the challenge or Pro sections on the second straight. To say Shane was happy with the decision was a bit of an understatement. Give the boy an excuse to jump stuff and he’s like a dog with two tails………He picked up some great finishes though the moto’s and qualifiers to make his way through to the semis after some very fine racing in the quarters. Semi time is like a pressure cooker and he went to work with some great moves throughout the races, but when it came to the line he was just out of the main event with a photo finish both days. We need to get him some bionic arms for the lunge. Out in the B finals he was still up against some great racers and used his head to take a 5th on day one, and an awesome 3rd on day two after opting for the challenge class line while all the others slowed each other up through the pro section.
Massive thanks to Ison Distribution, Identiti Bikes, Gusset Components, Halo Wheels, TSG International, HT Components, ODI Grips, Renthal, Pat Campbell-Jenner, Matt Andrews, Lloyd Townsend and all the guys behind the scenes for their support.
I really can’t believe the national season is nearly over already, but by the time you read this we’ll be off to Telford for the last rounds in just a weeks’ time.